Weekly Wrapup: President’s Medical Marijuana Comments Further Cloud November Election
Medical marijuana professionals will face a difficult decision this fall that could affect their very livelihoods: Obama or a Republican presidential candidate (most likely Mitt Romney)?
In the past, choosing between a Democratic and Republican president was a no-brainer for the MMJ crowd. Democrats in general have more favorable views toward medical cannabis, and Republicans typically oppose it.
It’s a bit more complicated this time around.
The medical marijuana industry is up in arms over the Obama administration’s crackdown on cannabis businesses, and they fear this is just the start of a larger campaign. Some MMJ professionals are now threatening to boycott Obama in the upcoming election. Romney – who appears headed for the GOP nomination – can’t be much worse, even though he has publicly said he opposes medical marijuana legalization.
With that as the backdrop, Obama attempted to explain – and defend – the crackdown on the medical cannabis industry in an interview that was published in Rolling Stone last week. The president said his hands are tied because he “can’t nullify congressional law.” Obama also insinuated that he is concerned primarily with the larger, for-profit operations that are selling to recreational users.
As we noted last week, the industry doesn’t seem to be buying it, with some observers accusing the president of lying and others calling his explanation “nonsense.”
While this further complicates the presidential election for MMJ professionals, voting for Romney could backfire in a big way. The current crackdown has been brutal, but it’s worth noting that the medical cannabis industry is much bigger under the Obama administration than it’s ever been. If the president is trying to rein in an industry that many casual observers believe had gotten out of control, that’s much better than a president trying to stamp out the industry entirely. While Romney probably wouldn’t dismantle the industry – the genie is out the bottle, after all – having a president who is against the very idea of medical marijuana might not be the wisest choice.
Part of the problem is that both Obama and Romney have been so vague on the issue. Perhaps that will change in the months to come as the election season heats up, but we doubt it. Of course, the clear-cut choice for MMJ professionals is Ron Paul, who is an ardent supporter of medical cannabis legalization. But Paul is trailing Romney badly in the delegate count, and the chances he’ll win the GOP nomination are slim.
Other top news in MMJ Business Daily last week:
Dispensaries and retail cannabis stores in Colorado sold nearly 150,000 pounds of marijuana flower last [click to continue...]
Recreational marijuana has dominated headlines out of Washington DC this week, as the use, possession [click to continue...]
A company that got turned down for one of the Illinois’ 21 medical marijuana cultivation [click to continue...]
A financial services firm that plans to serve the cannabis industry has secured $2 million [click to continue...]
Alaska marijuana entrepreneurs who want to specialize in infused products or extracts will have to [click to continue...]
With private marijuana use on track to become legal in Washington DC on Thursday barring [click to continue...]
Oregon is facing an interesting question tied to its medical marijuana law: Should evicted cannabis [click to continue...]
Institutional investors will put money into cannabis stocks this year, though many publicly traded MJ [click to continue...]
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has sent a bill to state lawmakers calling for the establishment [click to continue...]
Canadian stock regulators have a word of warning for those investing in MMJ companies north [click to continue...]
At least half of Minnesota’s medical marijuana dispensaries will be unionized. The United Food and [click to continue...]
Dispensary owners in New York may have a niche customer base to tap when they [click to continue...]
A U.S. investment fund has cemented its second deal with a Canadian cannabis grower this [click to continue...]
Dispensary owners in San Jose, California, are in a dispute with the city over unpaid [click to continue...]