GOP Doesn’t Support Legalization of Medical Marijuana
The Big Story
As you’re probably already aware, this week the GOP had their Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Along with naming the party’s presidential candidate (it’s officially Trump if you somehow haven’t heard the news yet), Republican delegates and leaders also took time to figure out just what will make it onto the Republican platform and what won’t. Medical marijuana didn’t make the cut. And while that may not be the most surprising news ever, wait until you see some of the reasons GOP delegates gave for why they didn’t want to support the legalization of medical marijuana.
Why GOP Leaders Won’t Support Medical Cannabis
Some of the reasons Republican leaders gave for not supporting medical cannabis reveal a deep level of confusion and ignorance. And others were just flat out weird. Here’s a run down of what they said:
- A delegate from Utah insisted that scientists still have a “long way to go with research” before we can safely or effectively use medical cannabis. However, there’s actually been a decent amount of research into medical cannabis. And while researchers still face a lot of challenges, there’s certainly enough evidence to safely say that cannabis has a number of important health and medical properties.
- Some delegates said that marijuana triggers all sorts of mental health issues such as schizophrenia.
- Others said that the entire movement to legalize medical cannabis was funded by wealthy Democrat George Soros.
- A delegate compared medical cannabis to the heroin epidemic currently sweeping the U.S. They also said that using medical cannabis is similar to getting addicted to prescription pills like Percocet, OxyContin, and prescription opioids.
- And by far the craziest thing was when one delegate made the case that people who commit mass murders are “young boys from divorced families, and they’re all smoking pot.”
GOP Leaders Who Supported Medical Cannabis
To be fair, there were a decent number of Republican leaders and delegates who were open to the idea of medical cannabis. Eric Barkey, a lawmaker from Maine, introduced the measure to put medical marijuana on the official GOP platform. Here’s what Barkey and the other pro-medical cannabis Republicans said:
- Some pointed out that medical cannabis has helped many families and has improved the lives of many patients around the country.
- Others focused specifically on children, highlighting that many “are being saved” by using cannabis extracts.
- One delegate said that some children have health conditions that can only be treated with cannabis products.
- And many pro-cannabis delegates said that the Republicans who were opposed to medical cannabis didn’t really understand what medical marijuana is all about. “It’s not like we’re talking about Cheech and Chong here, folks,” said Ben Marchi, a delegate from Maryland. “We’re talking about allowing people with debilitating conditions to ease their suffering.”
The Final Hit
The first vote on the issue was too close to call by a voice vote. So they had to do a second vote. And that time the outcome was clear. The Republican Party will officially remain opposed to legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.