The most important thing to happen to cannabis’s prospects in the 2016 Presidential Election may have occurred this week when Hillary Clinton refused the offer of a debate with Bernie Sanders before the California primary.
The offer, made by Fox News, was odd to say the least, but getting the two Democratic frontrunners on stage together one last time would have been exactly the kind of boost the progressive agenda needed before the general election causes a shift to the center—especially if Hillary’s coronation by the media and the party’s mysterious superdelegates continues unimpeded by a decisive Sanders victory in California.
As this ultramarathon of a primary season was just starting—at least 15 years ago, right?
I’m remembering correctly—I said on multiple occasions to multiple friends and debate partners (both willing and otherwise) that I hoped before Hillary was inevitably pushed into the nomination Bernie would drag Hillary as far to the left as he possibly could.
I knew he’d never be able to get the former Goldwater Girl and first lady to the man Michael Moore once called “The Best Republican President We’ve Ever Had” to endorse something like single payer health care, but on something like cannabis, with a few more opportunities to bring it to the forefront of the conversation, Hillary could foreseeably be persuaded to ignore pharmaceutical lobby money for just long enough to make some optimistic noises.
With a serious debate callout, he may have forced her to seriously look at the issue and take action.
The Republican party has already chosen a Fascist Starter Kit with a well-documented bikini fetish—that some claim has a tendency to manifest in a more, well, gropey manner than may be considered appropriate—as their nominee.
This fact is causing a greater number of democrats to push the panic button and flee to Hillary’s side, seeing her as the safer option. It’s like when the Yankees have already won the ALCS and the National League series goes to extra innings in game seven.
People start saying, “Hey, the Yanks are pretty rested now, there’s no way they’ll lose.” But the conventions are still relatively far away, and more actual, on-stage debate between the remaining choices for those of us Americans who have no interest in voting for The Donald and his fear, hate, and ego-based politicking would have been the only thing to get an actual progressive agenda through into the general election cycle.
Bernie has managed to drag Hillary a few notches to the left, but when the rope is so tight as it is now, getting on stage and forcing the issues on her could let him win the tug-of-war, even if he doesn’t eventually get his name on the ballot.
If he could have managed to do that, legalizing could have been something that was immediately on the table, a bone to throw at progressives from the Hillary camp once she realizes that no matter what her billionaire friends might tell her, cannabis isn’t “dope” anymore.