• Wall Street Journal Asks, “Should Obama Support Amendment 64?”

    by  • August 21, 2012 • Blog

    Barack Obama Smoking

    President Obama’s base of supporters approve of marijuana legalization and hope that the former Choom Gang member will evolve on cannabis law just as he did on gay marriage.

    Colorado has a groundbreaking amendment on this November’s ballot that will regulate marijuana like alcohol. Amendment 64, if passed, will create jobs, generate revenue and allow law enforcement resources to be better utilized to fight serious and violent crime.  Polling demonstrates that the measure has majority support and that legalizing marijuana is polling better than both President Obama and Mitt Romney, as Rasmussen Polling has the two candidates currently tied at 47% in the Centennial State.  Since Colorado is such a crucial swing state in this year’s presidential election, the Wall Street Journal Morning Staff wonders whether the former Choom Gang member should endorse this common sense measure:

    Smoking weed would be like drinking a beer if the battleground state of Colorado passes a ballot initiative on Election Day. And right now, polls show voters are ready to sign off on it all because of a push by the younger crowd.  The same group of 18- to 29-year-olds are key to another victory, the re-election of President Obama, who toked up in high school with a bunch of buddies who infamously called themselves the “Choom Gang.”   Yet, although Obama desperately needs to turn out a constituency that was key to sweeping him into the White House, he is keeping a safe distance from the marijuana legalization measure, known as Amendment 64, and its organizers.  A survey out out this month showed 47 percent of registered voters in Colorado support Amendment 64, compared with 38 percent who oppose it. In June, the “against” number was 42 percent. Public Policy Polling attributes the uptick to independent and young voters.

    Despite President Obama’s experience with cannabis in his youth and the political leanings of his base of supporters on the issue, the President has yet to show a willingness to evolve towards legalizing cannabis, like he did on gay marriage.  If polling in Colorado and across the country are any indication, it is high time that he did.


    Anthony Johnson is the executive director of the National Cannabis Coalition and our parent division, the American Victory Coalition. He also serves as a Board Member of Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


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