The 2022 midterm elections are heating up as politicians on both sides are batting around different strategies to reach their goals.
A recent survey from Morning Consult and Politico revealed that four out of ten voters overall said ending cannabis prohibition should be prioritized, shedding light on Democrats’ midterm strategy.
John Fetterman, an American pro-marijuana politician serving as the 34th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and currently the top Democratic Senate candidate on Tuesday’s primary in the state, is loud and clear regarding cannabis reform.
“It’s high time that we get our sh*t together and legalize weed in PA + USA. More justice, jobs, revenue, and freedom. That’s not Reefer Madness – that’s just common sense,” reads the description on the top-selling campaign T-shirt that’s selling on Fetterman’s website for $35.
In a Twitter note from Sunday, Fetterman said that he’d recently been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. He canceled all of his public appearances in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary election in which Pennsylvania voters are choosing a candidate to succeed Republican Senator Pat Toomey in the 50-50 chamber and a term-limited Democratic governor.
Still, Fetterman — an unofficial spokesman for the state’s efforts to legalize the plant — is determined to fight for the cause on the national level if he reaches the U.S. Senate.
“It never should have been illegal in the first place,” Fetterman, who has 14 years of experience as a small-town mayor, told Forbes’ A.J. Herrington in a telephone interview. “This is a plant with no known medical overdose. This is a plant now that’s helped 350,000 people, just in my state alone, with their medical issues.”
Cannabis Is Bringing More Voters
The sentiment among Pennsylvanians suggests that Fetterman’s legalization efforts make a difference.
“If [candidates] support marijuana, they’re more about the people,” Casey Lofties, 25, from York, said on Saturday in an interview. “I feel like even though they’re older, that they’re still listening to the younger people who are eventually going to be making America, America.”
Some political strategists agree that a cannabis-friendly approach could bring a win in both the primary and general elections in the race for Senate majority, Politico’s Natalie Fertig writes.
More importantly, the issue of cannabis could bring more voters into the whole polling process.
“You’re talking about a state that Joe Biden won by only 80,000 votes,” Mike Mikus, a Democratic strategist in Pennsylvania said. “So many people, new voters or people who … may have decided to sit out the election — if you bring them out because of this issue, that is how you win these campaigns.”
Interestingly, Marsha Cohen, a law professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, recently said that Biden could get back some young voters if he decides to sign the MORE Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives.
“Young people may also be those least likely to be responsive to pollsters right now because they might not care. This [bill] might ‘talk’ to them,” Cohen told Newsweek.
Paul Quirk, a political scientist at the University of British Columbia in Canada, went a step further, saying that the President “would be hard-pressed to veto” legislation that supports cannabis use because he can’t allow losing the younger generation of voters, reported the news outlet.
“Vetoing marijuana legalization would make Biden public-official enemy No. 1 to many of the young voters whose support he badly needs to win back,” Quirk added.