A new poll from Quinnipiac University found that Colorado residents are cool with their state’s new marijuana law. But that hardly means they’re ready to support politicians who take advantage of it.
The Coloradans surveyed had a rosy view of the state’s marijuana-legalization law, which went into effect Jan. 1. Most voters think the law will bring tax revenue into the state — indeed, the state is projected to raise nearly $100 million from marijuana sales this year. They also believe the law has helped Colorado’s criminal-justice system, and that it “increases personal freedoms in a positive way.” Almost half of voters admitted to using marijuana at some point in their lives. While most voters overall support the law — 54 percent to 43 percent — the only subsets who don’t think the law is good for the state are Republicans and voters over the age of 65. But to those naysayers, most Coloradans are saying, “Don’t harsh my mellow, bro.”
Still, that doesn’t mean Coloradans are comfortable with the idea of their elected officials toking up. More than half of the poll’s respondents — 52 percent — said they’d be less likely to vote for a political candidate who smokes marijuana “two or three days a week.” Forty-three percent said a candidate’s marijuana use would not affect their vote, while 3 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for the candidate.
And it shows there are still radically different attitudes toward alcohol versus marijuana. Just look at Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was a beer entrepreneur before he was elected. If a majority of voters were worried about candidates who drink beer “two or three days a week,” we’d be forced to live in an anarchic society.
To be fair, voters hold political candidates to higher standards than what’s legal — or voters’ own moral codes. Adultery isn’t illegal, either, but it has ended many a political career nonetheless. Other acts of impropriety can have a severe impact on how voters view their representatives.
Moral rectitude is important to voters, and while they can abide by their neighbors getting blazed after a long day of work, politicians might want to lay off the mind-altering substances. So sorry, Tommy Chong. Better luck next election cycle.
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."