Presidential candidate hopeful Marco Rubio has been vocal on his stance pertaining to cannabis legalization and it’s not one the majority of the United States would back. Rubio wants to prevent cannabis from gaining steam and ensure it remains illegal in the states it currently is and even went as far as saying the federal law (it being illegal) should be enforced in states where it is currently legal like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
“Marijuana is illegal under federal law. That should be enforced,” Rubio told ABC News. “I believe adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country.”
He joins fellow Republican candidate Chris Christie in the battle against cannabis in America. While both claim to be open-minded candidates, they both are vehemently against the progression of cannabis legalization. Though Rubio is against recreational cannabis legalization, he is ok with medical cannabis provided it undergoes an FDA approval process and is shown to truly have medicinal benefits.
“If there are medicinal uses of marijuana that don’t have the elements that are mind-altering or create the high but do alleviate whatever condition it may be they are trying to alleviate, that is something I would be open to,” Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times.
“You hear compelling stories of people who say the use of medicinal marijuana provides relief for the thing they are suffering. So I’d like to learn more about that aspect of it, the science of it,” he added. “I have qualms about that proposal, I really do, but I probably need to learn more about it. The broader issue of whether we should be legalizing it is something I’m pretty firm about. I don’t think legalizing marijuana or even decriminalizing it is the right decision for our country.”
Rubio is currently third in the polls for the Republican party behind Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but with plenty of time left, he could start edging closer to the top spot. With such a negative opinion on cannabis and it’s recreational legalization moving forward, Rubio should consider relaxing his stance if he wants any chance of a shot at being president. Otherwise, he and Christie will remain in the minority.
This post was originally published on December 18, 2015, it was updated on March 15, 2017.