Marijuana Legislation: Why Donald Trump & Chris Christie Are Bad For Pot

Dustin Murrell

Marijuana legislation is a more important issue to voters in 2016 than in any previous US presidential election cycle. With 25 states and the District of Columbia having already passed laws to make medical marijuana legal within their borders, over half of the country can now use hemp to treat such ailments as glaucoma or PTSD. In a handful of states, the use and sale of recreational pot has also been legalized, making cities like Denver and Portland more popular among millennials than ever. But if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States, his close ties with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie could mean a giant step backwards for progressive pot laws in America.

But as the Huffington Post argues, Trump's close relationship with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie does not bode well for those who want to see the legal use of marijuana spread across the United States. Since being defeated by the real estate mogul in the GOP presidential candidacy race, Christie has been unabashedly in Trump's corner. Many expected Trump to name Christie as his choice for VP. Now that Indiana Governor Mike Pence has filled that role, many assume Christie will be named the new Attorney General if Trump wins the election.

Prior to Christie taking charge in New Jersey, former Governor Jon Corzine (a Democrat) signed a bill (introduced by Clinton delegate Nicholas Scutari) to legalize medical pot in their state. And while Christie has yet to implement any harsher marijuana laws as Governor, medicinal cannabis users in his state are having a much more difficult time than their peers in other states with access to the herb with therapeutic benefits.

"Everybody thought the state passed a good law until Governor Christie got his hands on it. Many patients have abandoned the medicinal system and gone back to the illegal market to get the medicine they need."

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For voters that take issues of marijuana legislation seriously, it's worth considering where the other presidential candidates stand when it comes to legalizing pot. As noted by Reason, Hillary Clinton supports reclassifying marijuana from a Schedule I drug to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, which would then allow for federal research regarding the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis. Clinton has not gone so far as to say that weed should be legalized at the federal level.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, on the other hand, has gone on record as saying that the "failed war on drugs" needs to end and that it's time to legalize marijuana and hemp -- although she's far from wanting to "remove all laws against all drug use."

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

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