How does GOP front-runner Ted Cruz feel about marijuana reform?
Monday was a good day for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. The Texas Senator came away from the Iowa caucuses in top place among GOP primary candidates, thanks in large part to his strong support among evangelical Christians.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz had nearly 28 percent of the vote, while Donald Trump had 24 percent and Marco Rubio had 23 percent, according to The New York Times.
Marijuana reform is shaping up to be a major issue this election cycle, so where does the GOP front-runner stand on marijuana policy?
Cruz consistently opposes recreational marijuana legalization, but recently he has said states should have the right to determine their own marijuana laws.
Per Mother Jones:
“When it comes to a question of legalizing marijuana, I don’t support legalizing marijuana,” he told Hugh Hewitt in April. “If it were on the ballot in the state of Texas, I would vote no.”
“But I also believe that’s a legitimate question for the states to make a determination…I think it is appropriate for the federal government to recognize that the citizens of those states have made that decision, and one of the benefits of it, you know, using Brandeis’ terms of laboratories of democracy, is we can now watch and see what happens in Colorado and Washington State.”
Cruz is singing a more moderate tone on pot policy these days, but in the past he’s carved out fairly rigid opposition to marijuana legalization.
In 2014, Cruz criticized President Obama for not cracking down on states like Colorado and Oregon that legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, as reported by Fusion.
But now Cruz is among a group of GOP candidates who have “toned down the prohibitionist rhetoric” this election cycle, Romain Bonilla writes for Marijuana Politics.
A number of Republican presidential candidates now say they support medical marijuana and also think states should have the right to chose whether or not to legalize marijuana within their boundaries.
The fact that most Republican presidential candidates are playing down their opposition to marijuana legalization these days shows just how far marijuana reformers have come in recent years. It appears the days are long gone when GOP leaders can win political points by demonizing marijuana.