Despite growing popular support for legalizing weed, the federal government still classifies weed as a Schedule I drug. With so many people supporting legal weed, what’s stopping it from becoming a reality? Lobbying from Big Pharma plays a major role in halting legalization. And so do the politicians they pay to keep in their pockets. Here are the top ten anti-weed politicians fighting legalization.
10. Tom Price (R-Ga.)
National approval for cannabis legalization continues to rise. In one recent poll, eighty-three percent of Americans said that medical cannabis should be a legal and available option for patients.
Views on recreational cannabis use fall at about a 50/50 split, but they tend to favor legalization. This immense popular support for legal weed led to the many electoral victories for legal weed last November. Yet many lawmakers remain opposed to legalization.
For example, Representative Tom Price’s views on cannabis came to light when he became Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary.
Price is one of the most steadfast opponents of marijuana reform in Congress. He’s voted against several recent marijuana proposals and has “a long voting record of opposing the marijuana policy reforms” the House of Representatives have voted on, according to the Brookings Institution.
As a member of Trump’s cabinet, Price has more power over medical access to cannabis.
9. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.)
Despite some initial wavering and equivocation, Marco Rubio has consistently come down on the side of anti-weed politicians who oppose legalization.
Marco Rubio doesn’t think legalizing marijuana or even decriminalizing it is the right decision for our country, and he has said so numerous times.
But Rubio doesn’t seem to have his facts correct. He often conflates the dangers of alcohol with cannabis.
8. Mark Kirk (R-Il.)
Mark Kirk has earned a grade of “F” from the marijuana policy advocacy group NORML. He has voted no on every marijuana law issue in the past several years.
And to make matters worse, Kirk seems to believe all the false stereotypes about cannabis users. While appearing deaf to medical cannabis patients, Kirk said he favors full restrictions on the drug.
Citing sensationalist concerns about “Kush super-marijuana” invading Chicago’s suburbs, he has also pushed for dramatically increased prison sentences for marijuana possession in Illinois.
7. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has a special platform sharing his anti-marijuana view. Like many anti-weed politicians, McConnell is all in when it comes to opposing legalization.
He is “firmly against legalizing marijuana,” and that he thinks the “whole movement” throughout the country to make weed legal is a “big mistake.”
He’s also voted no on every marijuana policy reform bill that has come to a vote in the Senate.
6. Deb Fischer (R-Ne.)
Deb Fisher, a senator from Nebraska, says that she does not support the legalization of marijuana.
According to Fischer, who reports having met with law enforcement across Nebraska, cannabis poses too great a risk for children.
As an anti-weed politician, Fischer has harshly criticized Colorado, a neighboring state, for marketing “gummy bears” to children. Furthermore, she doesn’t think states should ignore federal law.
5. Tom Carper (D-De.)
On a list of anti-weed politicians populated with conservative Republicans, Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, stands out.
But Carper has been a steady opponent of cannabis legalization. However, very recently Carper seems to be coming around to the idea of medical cannabis. Delaware is about to get its first medical marijuana dispensary.
4. John Boozman (R-Ar.)
John Boozman, a senator from Arkansas, had plenty of chances to vote yes on even minor marijuana policy reforms at the federal level. And with every chance he had he voted no.
He’s even fighting to restrict access to medical cannabis in states that have legalized it. According to Boozman, states with legal medical marijuana laws are a “free-for-all” where doctors prescribe cannabis for any ailment.
3. John Suthers (R)
Colorado Springs, Colorado is cracking down on its retail cannabis locations. And that’s likely thanks to the anti-pot efforts of Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers.
Despite the fact that Colorado has legal recreational cannabis, Suthers remains sharply opposed to legalization.
So much so, that he apparently met “in secret” with DEA and other federal officials to discuss the state’s legal cannabis industry.
2. Martin J. Walsh (R)
But in the months leading up to the campaign, Walsh teamed up with MA Governor Charlie Baker to launch an anti-legalization campaign.
Their message? That legalizing cannabis would increase its use among youths. Even after the vote, Walsh and other anti-weed politicians in Massachusetts remain dedicated to continuing the fight against marijuana.
1. Jeff Sessions (R)
His outrageous, misinformed, and racist views on marijuana have been well-documented. Take for instance his view that he “thought the KKK were okay until I found out they smoke pot.”
As Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the country, Sessions is in a position to crack down on weed-legal states, increase penalties for marijuana crimes, and enact many other regressive measures.
The Final Hit: Top 10 Anti-Weed Politicians Fighting Legalization
Backed by powerful and well-funded interests in the pharmaceutical sectors, plenty of politicians are cashing in on the anti-weed bandwagon.
But with growing national support for legalization and an ever-growing body of research on marijuana use, these anti-weed politicians aren’t long for their office.