A CNN Panelist has declared that you are an idiot if your presidential vote depends on a candidate’s position on marijuana legalization. Speaking on the election campaign Lz Granderson stated that,  “if you are voting on one single issue, especially one issue that is so peripheral, you are an idiot, I don’t want to mince words here.” Why exactly the host of the segment, Carol Costello, thought the question worth asking considering the fact that you couldn’t fit a playing card between Obama and Romney on marijuana policy is a little bemusing. However, given that the question was asked, and such a moronic response given, the issue is worth examining. 

Why Mr. Granderson thinks you would be an idiot to vote for the betterment of your community’s economic wellbeing, the alleviation of pain, or out of concern for business owners who have their legal businesses raided is not made clear. According to Mr. Granderson there are more important issues at stake. While it is the case that the economy is in dire straits and there are men and women dying in foreign countries wearing our country’s uniform, the unfortunate reality is that there is no reason to vote for either Obama or Romney on these issues. You will get almost identical policies regardless of who wins the election. 

At the end of last year Reason.TV interviewed Andrew and Steve DeAngelo of Oakland, California’s Harborside Health Center, the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the world. Both men say explicitly in the video that they are single issues voters, and it makes sense that they are. Their financial livelihoods and the wellbeing of their customers are at stake.

What Mr. Granderson should remember, and what is echoed in the video, is that many of those who manage or use medical marijuana dispensaries are natural Democratic voters who feel betrayed by the President’s reversal on the issue. On this policy the Republican rhetoric of states’ rights looks better than the expansive overreach of the current administration.

A vote for the legalization of marijuana is a vote for the alleviation suffering, financial sanity, commonsense law and order, and localism. Too bad it won’t be on the ballot come November 6th.  The issue is only ‘peripheral’ if you lack any consideration for human freedom and suffering. This country’s laws on marijuana are causing largely unseen misery at our southern border and needlessly filling already overcrowded prisons. It would be interesting to hear where Mr. Granderson’s priorities lie.