Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential election by a landslide, beating his opponent by over 7 million Popular Votes and 74 Electoral College votes. Political pundits spent countless hours debating over exactly what made 81 million Americans show up for the Biden/Harris ticket, but if you ask Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer, he’ll tell you it was legislation supporting the legalization of marijuana that ultimately gave Biden the edge. Now he wants Biden to thank those voters by making weed legal at the federal level.
Blumenauer opines that Biden likely carried Arizona on a wave of voter turnout to support a cannabis legalization ballot measure. That was part of a pattern: Legal weed outperformed the Democratic Party nominee in all four states where it was on the ballot. Referring to those voters as “friends” but implying “stoners”, Blumenauer challenged Biden to show his gratitude for the rest of his “friends” in the states where it’s not yet legal.
Biden currently opposes cannabis legalization, but legalizing pot is one of many popular issues that Democrats could build a coalition around. This month, Blumenauer, who doesn’t actually use cannabis himself, presided over a vote in the House of Representatives to legalize it on the federal level. That bill is DOA in the Senate, yet Blumenauer says the victory wasn’t merely symbolic.
“The American public has signaled what they want,” Blumenauer says. “The polls at the ballot box are the most compelling.”
The economic impacts of legalizing pot have been well-documented. Oregon legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2014, and the state felt the economic impact almost immediately. Literally a growth industry, dispensaries are one of the few businesses that were deemed essential during the early weeks of the Coronavirus pandemic, posting huge profits and keeping thousands of people employed.
Blumenauer may not partake of the herb, but he’s passionate enough about the cause to make it his pinned tweet.
— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) December 3, 2020