A slimy chill of discontent settled in at both ends of the stoner nation on Tuesday night.
It appears that Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will most likely be the two official candidates to face off in the battle to become the next President of the United States – leaving the Bernie Sanders campaign, a movement strongly supported by proponents of cannabis legalization, neck deep in a cesspool of uncertainty and disgust.
Last night, just hours after taking Sanders to slaughter in the New Jersey primary, Clinton took the stage in Brooklyn, New York to claim the Democratic Presidential nomination. Delivering a speech for every woman, young and old, across the nation, Clinton vowed, as the first woman in history to claim a nomination from a major political party, to follow in the footsteps of all the female activists who have fought tooth and nail over the course of the past century for that spark that eventually ignited the vital state of women’s rights that exists in this country today.
From there Clinton made an attempt to lure in some of the disgruntled Sanders supporters by suggesting that the ‘Feel the Bern’ campaign has been an extremely important part of the 2016 presidential race, one that has not only been “very good for the Democratic party” but for America, as well.
An hour later, the results of the California polls began to trickle in, clarifying the saddening news that Bernie Sanders — the only candidate who swore to use his authority as the next leader of the free world to end federal marijuana prohibition — was being passed over by the voting population.
Hillary leads Bernie in California 56 to 43 percent and voter turnout was unexpectedly low given forecasts. Some believe the lack of enthusiasm for Sanders in California was the result of the media, including a report from the Associated Press, prematurely alluding that Clinton had already locked in the Democratic nomination.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, told CNN on Tuesday evening that winning New Jersey put Clinton above the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. He went on to say that a victory in California would only solidify her as the Democrat’s candidate of choice.
Nevertheless, Bernie Sanders, who has called all of the super-delegate business a “rigged system,” has not given any indication that he will cut the cord on his campaign — at least not at this juncture.
The Vermont senator said earlier this week that he will drag the political rumble into the streets of Philadelphia in July, and that the Democratic nomination would be contested.
On Tuesday evening, Sanders reinforced this sentiment during a speech in Santa Monica, saying his campaign would continue to D.C. and then on to Philadelphia where they would “fight for every vote and every delegate we can get.”
Although it is now going to be next to impossible for Sanders to secure the Democratic nomination, there is some noise coming from the campaign trail suggesting that he may join the Clinton crew in the near future. Reports indicate that Sanders has a meeting on Thursday with President Obama, perhaps to discuss the senator’s next move, and the tone coming from both Clinton and Sanders following Tuesday’s election was definitely more about unifying the party in an effort to prevent Trump from becoming the next president rather than continuing to duke it out against each other.
But what could this potential allegiance mean for the future of marijuana reform?
Hillary Clinton is certainly not destined to be a salvation’s wing with respect to the movement to legalize marijuana in this country, but there is a distinct possibility that with her in office, backed by the influence of Sanders as either the Vice President or a member of the cabinet, it could bring about a steady stream of action that leads to changes in nationwide marijuana policy.
Clinton has said that states should be given the right to choose whether to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, while also suggesting the need to downgrade the Schedule I classification of the herb in an effort to facilitate research. With Sanders on the inside, perhaps we could see significant tweaks in the way the federal government views marijuana from a criminal justice aspect. It’s a long shot, but it might be the best chance the movement has at inching forward from the Obama Administration’s current “hands off” approach.
Some of the latest polls indicate 60 percent of the voters in California support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, but apparently those people did not turn out to support Sanders in last night’s election.
Did Hillary really win or should Bernie stay in the race?