Listen Up, Candidates — Your Constituents Want Cannabis Freedom

Whether running a local, state or federal campaign, it’s vital to concern yourself with cannabis policy. President Biden finally acted recently on campaign promises to work toward cannabis reformation at a national level, meaning your platform cannot afford to leave the topic unaddressed.


With an ever-increasing number of states decriminalizing cannabis and creating adult-use markets and medical cannabis programs to reflect the growing public support for ending cannabis prohibition, this issue will not be going away anytime soon. Policymakers should seek comprehensive cannabis education to truly understand the industry and the problems around structuring and regulating adult-use markets in their states and at the federal level.


As someone who has been intimately involved with cannabis policy reform and education for decades, I have seen politicians ignore the issue or take a prohibitionist stance to the detriment of the constituents they serve and occasionally — especially in more recent years — their campaigns. Public opinion on the cannabis issue is reasonably straightforward. People want cannabis decriminalized and available, particularly for medical patients who may benefit. 


Cannabis Education and Policy Matter


Whatever your party affiliation, cannabis is a popular topic, with the majority of Americans supporting decriminalization and legalization of marijuana in some form. According to the latest polls, Americans overwhelmingly say cannabis should be legal for responsible adult-use or medical purposes. 


The failure of the federal government to control and fairly tax cannabis, neglecting to settle the issues of safe banking, fair taxation, and interstate commerce, is fiscally irresponsible. As a policy-maker, it should concern you that state and federal policies conflict, resulting in a missed opportunity for tax revenue that could fund education, infrastructure, and other issues important to the public.


Finances aside, supporting legal cannabis can mean providing lifesaving medicine and care to groups like veterans and helping fight pressing public health crises such as the opioid epidemic. Current research is finding cannabis has the potential to help provide relief for a wide range of conditions, from PTSD to chronic pain. 


Federal tax revenue from legal cannabis programs could bolster causes in desperate need of funding, such as infrastructure, education, criminal justice reform, and more. With the American economy recovering from the blow of the pandemic, candidates ignoring the positive economic potential that a safe, legal cannabis program could provide citizens of their state are missing out on an opportunity.


Revenue put toward social programs and the reframing of addiction and substance abuse as public health issues instead of criminal ones could have positive effects economically and socially on communities.

States that May Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in 2022

Everyone involved with the political process and drug policy reform advocacy knows that real change often comes from the local level. Several states may pass adult-use cannabis legalization in November 2022, including Delaware, Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Oklahoma is a “maybe.” Marijuana Moment provides a great bill-tracking tool to keep up with all cannabis and psychedelic bills across the country. 


Invest In Cannabis Education and Policies In Your State

Speak up for cannabis! Candidates across the country have found and will succeed in their campaigns if they highlight a strong decriminalization stance. This issue is not only popular with the people but good for the economy. For example, one GOP Senate Candidate’s ‘Pot For Potholes’ marijuana-funded infrastructure campaign ad made a splash recently for his vow to use tax revenue from legal cannabis to fill potholes in the state. These types of common sense, approachable policies are what people crave from their politicians. 


Suppose you’re unsure where to start or obtain resources to learn about cannabis and drug policy reform issues. Tools and training are available to candidates and government officials specifically designed by nonprofits and education centers like Oaksterdam University to fill this knowledge gap. Don’t miss the green wave — the American people are on it, and you can either enjoy the ride or get left behind.



Join the Oaksterdam Family

Be part of the movement. Sign up for our newsletter today.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x