This is our second post in our “Where do they Stand” series. Our first post highlighted the early announcers (Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio). This post will highlight the folks who have jumped on the bandwagon, most of whom stand no reasonable likelihood of getting their party’s nomination, much less becoming president. Since we’re not talking about anyone who has a shot, let’s have a little fun before we get to the bandwagon, and start off with the candidate of the United States Marijuana Party, Thomas Keister.
Believe it or not, since 2002 there has been a political party called the United States Marijuana Party (USMJP). Like all one-issue political parties, it appears its true goal seems to be to raise awareness of its one issue, rather than to have any real impact in any election race. To that end, the USMJP has nominated a presidential candidate, Thomas Keister, who recognizes he will be bringing up the rear in the race:
I do not have a nine-digit war chest, nor do I expect to raise nine-digits worth of war cash, so to be completely honest, I know I’m playing for fourth or fifth place in the final windup. I do, however, intend to chronicle this experience over the next twenty three months or so for an eBook release, both date and title obviously to be announced later on.
Obviously, Keister favors legalization of marijuana for all people over 18 years old. So, if you happen to be in a state where he somehow gets on the ballot and you live in a state where your vote is not likely to matter (or you just feel like writing in a candidate), toss Keister some love. It will show your support for legalizing marijuana and you just may get a shout-out in the eBook.
Medical: Hell yes
Recreational: Hell yes
To date, Bernie Sanders is the only other Democrat other than Hillary Clinton to announced a candidacy for president. Strictly speaking, Sanders runs as an independent, and is a self-described democratic socialist. He caucuses with the democrats, however, and for our more-or-less two-party system, he will be considered a democrat. Sanders is the junior Senator from Vermont and has held this position since 2007.
Sanders is a long-time supporter of medical marijuana. In 2001 he co-sponsored the States’ Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. Though the bill didn’t go anywhere, it shows Sanders’ commitment to medical marijuana. Sanders’ home state of Vermont already allows for medical marijuana as well.
But Sanders has expressed concerns about recreational use, although he may ultimately support decriminalization as he has doubts about the efficacy of the war on drugs, especially the imprisonment of non-violent offenders.
This position is much clearer than that of Hilary Clinton, but it’s unlikely Sanders will make it past the primary given current polling data.
Since our first post, two GOP candidates with little to no chance of success have announced their candidacies: Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and recent tea party favorite, and Carly Fiorina – a former business executive (most notably as CEO of HP)
Ben Carson is a former neurosurgeon whose views polarize the electorate so much that he has virtually no reasonable chance of success in any large scale election, much less the presidency. For example, Carson believes that homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice because “a lot of people go into prison straight, and when they come out, they’re gay.” He also does not believe in evolution, which is bit strange for a scientist.
As for marijuana, Carson has stated that medical use has proven useful in compassionate cases, but our research has not turned up anything where he indicates whether he actually supports medical use. Without question, however, he does not support recreational use, stating that marijuana is “what is known as a gateway drug– a starter for people who move on to heavier duty drugs. I don’t think this is something we really want for our society.”
Recreational: No Way
Carly Fiorina is a former business executive known most notably for her role as CEO of HP from 1999-2005. She championed HP’s merger with Compaq and was the first woman to lead one of the top twenty US Companies. She has very limited political experience, having served as an advisor for John McCain’s unsuccessful run for president in 2008 and also an unsuccessful run of her own for a US Senate seat in California in 2010.
Fiorina has a very personal relationship with illegal drugs as a whole, having lost a stepdaughter to addiction. She feels that criminalizing addiction is not helpful and feels that a good reform would be to decriminalize drug addiction and use. Fiorina does not, however, want to legalize marijuana in any way. She personally discussed medical marijuana use with her doctor when she was suffering from cancer, and chose not to use it. She is skeptical of its medicinal value.
Much like the majority of the GOP candidates we’ve profiled, however, Carly Fiorina is a federalist. She believes in a states-rights approach, indicating “[states are] within their rights to legalize marijuana, and they’re conducting an experiment I hope the rest of the nation is looking closely at.”
Medical: Leave it to the states
Recreational: Personally opposed, but may leave it to the states.
So there’s the first round of serious-but-no-chance candidates. Mike Huckabee has announced as well for the GOP, but since he has a chance, we left him out of this post. Hope you enjoyed the read, and we hope you enjoy Keister’s eBook. Stay tuned for a post soon when the pool of serious candidates has increased.