Marijuana laws are a hot topic right now. Voters want to hear about them. They want to know what their elected officials have to say about legalization. And while that’s true now more than ever, some politicians are still keeping quiet on the issue.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has gone further than his opponent for governorship Terry McAuliffe in alluding to his open-mindedness towards marijuana reform. But he stopped far short of saying he would support any legalization efforts.
According to IVN.us, he spoke up on the issue at an Albemarle County Republican Party meeting when he said that initiatives in Colorado and Washington which legalized recreational use of marijuana were a clear “defiance of federal law”, but that he respected their right to challenge those laws. He called it a “federalism experiment.”
In regards to enforcement priorities, the Attorney General has seen firsthand the effects of methamphetamine and says that if he had to prioritize funding for drug enforcement, meth would definitely get more attention than marijuana enforcement.
His likely opponent, McAuliffe, has said absolutely nothing on the issue. In current polls, McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli 46-41. Neither candidate has any details on the marijuana issue on their respective websites.
At last check, 53% of Virginians oppose legalizing recreational marijuana and 40% support it. But when it comes to medicinal use, 72% support it and only 19% are in opposition.
For any politician to keep quiet on the issue seems like an act of cowardice. Because opinions on the matter are so strong right now—with supporters seeing it as a step towards greater freedom and access to their favorite plant, and opponents seeing it as a gateway to certain social destruction—politicians have a lot to gain (or lose) by speaking up one way or another. It seems, instead, they want to play it safe until the votes are counted and then tell us what they really think.
We’ve heard the whole “low priority” enforcement stance before—President Obama used it to get marijuana supporters to like him, and then sponsored raids on medical marijuana dispensaries left and right. So saying marijuana enforcement is a low priority really doesn’t mean you support it or that you would back any reform efforts. Instead, it’s a way to use “support” and “marijuana” in the same sentence and hopefully gain a few more votes.
In the meantime, while we wait for lawmakers and politicians to tell us what they really think, marijuana use is still against the law—whether you smoke it for pain or pleasure.
If you are accused of a marijuana crime, contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.