Marijuana legalization has been an important topic for leaders all over the world. In the United States, it has garnered the attention of the governing bodies and leaders of the House, with many favoring the use of medical marijuana. With a number of states exercising their individual rights over marijuana laws, bills have been passed making it legal across twenty-three states respectively (2016).
Politicians and leaders seem to have strong opinions on the matter and they do not shy away from expressing those. Republican Presidential candidate hopefuls Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have also joined the list of noted, powerful people who have had expressed their views on marijuana legalization openly.
Trump has already made it clear that he supports individual states’ rights for marijuana laws and is not against its use for medical purposes. Similarly, rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio about marijuana also came forward with their statements regarding marijuana legalization and its use as a medical drug.
In 2014, Cruz addressed the issue while speaking at a conference held by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. It appeared that Cruz was in favor of prohibition of marijuana and critical of President Obama’s inaction as far as state laws regarding the matter were concerned. He said;
“A whole lot of folks now are talking about legalizing pot….And you can make arguments on that issue. You can make reasonable arguments on that issue. The president earlier this past year announced the Department of Justice is going to stop prosecuting certain drug crimes. Didn’t change the law.”
His opinion and stance on the matter underwent a dramatic shift within the year. In an interview in 2015, he expressed very different views that were actually in harmony with President Obama’s policy as far as marijuana legalization in states went. During the interview, he was recorded as saying, “I don’t support drug legalization, but I do support the Constitution. I think individual states can choose to adopt it. So if Texas had it on the ballot, I’d vote against it, but I respect the authority of states to follow different policies.”
Since then, Ted Cruz has remained firm with this stance and supported the individual rights of states to the law. He has also said that the states of Colorado and Washington State can only be observed for the time being with the long term effects of their marijuana legalization laws being felt later on.
Like Cruz and Trump, Rubio is also not far behind when it comes to giving strong statements on the matter. He is not in favor of marijuana legalization but is open to its use as a medical drug subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration protocols. Rubio also refrained from giving his opinion on the individual state laws on marijuana legalization and was vague in his explanation. When asked the question, he replied;
“I think, well, I think we need to enforce our federal laws. Now do states have a right to do what they want? They don’t agree with it, but they have their rights. But they don’t have a right to write federal policy as well. I don’t believe we should be in the business of legalizing additional intoxicants in this country for the primary reason that when you legalize something, what you’re sending a message to young people is it can’t be that bad, because if it was that bad, it wouldn’t be legal”.
His answer was somewhat confusing and he did not clarify anything further. Although he did maintain that he was very much open to the idea of marijuana as a medical drug but nothing further.