Looking Past the Party Conventions

C1_8734_r_xWith the country so divided right now along party lines, as well as within each of the two major parties, it would be easy for voters to say “The hell with them all,” and sit this election out. Both of the major party candidates have record-setting voter disapproval ratings, assuring that our next president will be starting off their first term knowing that more than half the country did not like them, and would have preferred someone else for president.

But there really is no other choice this year.

History of Third Party Candidates

The reality is third party candidates have a terrible track record in this country, so a vote for the Green Party or the Libertarian Party is, in effect, throwing away your vote. Those who insist on exercising this option may get some emotional satisfaction out of rejecting the two major party candidates, but they are also helping Donald Trump.

The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 established a Republican-Democrat duopoly that persists even today. Since then we have seen third-party candidates on the presidential ballot in two dozen elections, without success. In fact, most – including Ralph Nader in 2000 and Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 – have failed to win a single electoral vote, do to the winner-take-all nature of the electoral college.

The last such candidate to secure any electoral votes was segregationist candidate George Wallace in 1968, who won five Southern states in his fight against the civil rights movement. And the most successful third party presidential candidate was Teddy Roosevelt, who bolted the Republican Party to run as a Progressive Party (aka “Bull Moose Party”) candidate in 1912, who won six states and came in second with 27% of the vote, but lost badly to Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

It Matters

Despite the continuing complaints of dissatisfaction being heard from the cadre of enthusiastic Bernie Sanders supporters, in fact Sen. Sanders himself has now acknowledged the inevitable and endorsed Hillary Clinton. Sanders used his popularity with millions of American voters to nudge the Democratic Party platform, and the Democratic candidate, to the left. And that’s a positive development.

But Sanders also realized the most important priority at this time is to assure that Donald Trump is not elected president.

Both Hillary Clinton and her vice-presidential running mate Sen. Tim Kaine support the right of the states to continue to experiment with different versions of marijuana legalization, without interference from the federal government. While Donald Trump said he too holds that position, that was not apparent from the language in the Republican platform, that appeared to be heading in the other direction. And with Trump, who could guess what his position will be tomorrow or the next day.

But more importantly, Donald Trump is a bigoted, racist, ignorant candidate whom no one with a whit of common sense would want running our country, or having his finger on the nuclear button. Merely having him as a major party candidate is an embarrassment for the country, and has sent shockwaves throughout our allies in NATO and other strategic alliances. He is obviously unfit to be president.

So don’t waste your vote making a political point, knowing it would make it more likely that “the Donald” might somehow squeak through and win this election. Every progressive voter who sits out this election, or who votes for a third party candidate, helps Donald Trump.

We can all fight among ourselves about specific issues and how best to achieve more progressive policies in this country. But none of us can afford the risk of a Trump presidency.

73 thoughts

  1. no.
    something to ponder on.
    Wall Street Crash in October 1929. Desperate for capital, the United States began to recall loans from Europe. One of the consequences of this was a rapid increase in unemployment. Germany, whose economy relied heavily on investment from the United States, suffered more than any other country in Europe.

    Before the crash, 1.25 million people were unemployed in Germany. By the end of 1930 the figure had reached nearly 4 million, 15.3 per cent of the population. Even those in work suffered as many were only working part-time. With the drop in demand for labour, wages also fell and those with full-time work had to survive on lower incomes. Hitler, who was considered a fool in 1928 when he predicted economic disaster, was now seen in a different light. People began to say that if he was clever enough to predict the depression maybe he also knew how to solve it.

    By 1932 over 30 per cent of the German workforce was unemployed. In the 1933 Election campaign, Adolf Hitler promised that if he gained power he would abolish unemployment. He was lucky in that the German economy was just beginning to recover when he came into office. However, the policies that Hitler introduced did help to reduce the number of people unemployed in Germany.

    These policies often involved taking away certain freedoms from employers
    he the ONLY who can make this country. j n w

  2. Maybe that was always the plan : that Donald Trump would galvanise support for Hilary Clinton. No point speculating now – people just need to vote to stop Donald Trump (and cronies) getting to the Whitehouse.
    (Could it really happen ????)

    1. I don’t believe it was ever anyone’s intention that DJT actually win the election. HRC would be smart to change her slogan from “I’m with her” to I’m NOT him” because that is the only reason she will become president. HRC = more war, more wall street shenanigans, more government corruption, more freedoms taken away and, of course, higher taxes. DJT = ?. I guess the Clintons are banking on voters voting for the devil they know.

  3. If Tim Kaine supports states rights in this area, why did NORML give him an F score? In his own voting record and gateway drug talking points, he has been referred to as an unapologetic drug warrior. I couldn’t find anything that suggested otherwise.

    Not really questioning whether or not NORML got it right, would just like to see any quote from Kaine supporting states rights regarding cannabis.

    [Paul Armentano responds: He made statements to this effect at a hearing in May, after NORML initially released its Scorecard. “I actually kind of like this notion of the states as labs and they can experiment [with legalizing marijuana] and we can see what happens,” he said. His Scorecard grade has since been updated. But he has also made it clear that he personally would not cast a vote in favor of legalization or even decriminalization: http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2016/07/kaine-and-clinton-agree-respect-state-marijuana-laws/%5D

  4. Lemons turned into lemonade.
    While trump may not be the best of potential presidents, he is far from the worst. The really bad candidates each had their chance in the spotlight same as did Trump.

    Mrs. William Clinton is the absolute worst potential president. Sanders being a Democrat doesn’t improve her track record. Her recorded history is shameful, why isn’t she in jail?

    Trump carries the qualifications of office without much effort. He’s probably going to expose Hillary for the right reasons, keep her out of the Whitehouse.

    1. She definitely belongs behind thick bars…Funny Keith didn’t mention any of her shortcomings/scandals. What business practices of Trump are racists/bigoted? They must be somewhere in his long history of putting people to work. Surely a member of the bar wouldn’t commit such a character assignation without intimate knowledge of someone, would they?? At least Trump has stated he advocates states making MJ determinations… And he’s not a proven criminal (see also perjury regarding email releases by Ms. Clinton).

    2. “Trump carries the qualifications of office without much effort.”

      What?! You mean like declaring bankruptcy six times (and making out like a bandit while his investors are left holding the bag)?

      You mean by reneging on his contractual agreements, and forcing his (usually smaller) opponents into court, in expensive and long drawn out trials, to try to recoup their losses?

      You mean by telling the crowds at his rallies to rough up the protestors?

      You mean by suing those who have the temerity to publicly criticize him?

      Such admirable qualifications.

      If his daddy hadn’t left him a small fortune and an army of accountants and financial lawyers, The Donald would undoubtedly have found his calling in the used car business.

      1. How can anyone vote for a liar who can’t even handle a security clearance. Hillary is very BAD news. Vote Trump or not at all.

    3. If by “qualifications” you mean his Con-Artist degree with a major in Bankruptcy from Trump University he can keep his qualifications.
      Bottom line is Drumph profits off of the drug war through laundering campaign and casino money. Drumph accepted recent drug war money turned into campaign money from Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Addleson who is actively blocking passage to Florida’s medical marijuana legalization and successfuly blocked Florida’s full legalization attempt; he has no friends in Congress to get legislation passed much less reform marijuana law.

      Now let’s look at Hillary; She has plenty of friends and pressure in Congress to reform marijuana law. And unlike Drumph, with adequate political pressure, we can get her to sign on to reform. Her biggest flaw is signing on Wasserman Shultz to her campaign. Bad move. Lets see if she recovers from that tonight when she accepts the nomination.

      Drumph is a pathological liar with no hope that he can be lobbied into reliable marijuana law reform.

      Clinton is a compulsive liar with hope that she can be lobbied into reliable marijuana law reform.

      Now vote.

    4. It’s funny.

      Those of my friends who are Trump supporters say OMG YOU CAN’T VOTE THIRD PARTY YOU’RE SUPPORTING CLINTON!

      Those of my friends who are Clinton supporters say OMG YOU CAN’T VOTE THIRD PARTY YOU’RE SUPPORTING TRUMP!

      They’re both wrong.

      A vote for Johnson or Stein is just that, a vote for Johnson or Stein. It’s a rejection of the idea that the Republican or Democratic parties “own your vote” and by not voting for X you’re really voting for Y (regardless of who you actually vote for).

      The idea of the “wasted vote” comes from our “two party system,” which comes directly from our poor method of voting (plurality a.k.a. first past the post). But it only works because people are fooled by the establishment parties into believing that there are, and only should be, two options available. It benefits them, not us.

      Trump is an awful candidate. Clinton is an awful candidate. Neither are trustworthy. Both are warmongers. If you vote for either of them, you’re VOTING IN FAVOR of a megalomaniac who will do or say whatever they think is prudent to win and is perfectly willing to slaughter plenty of innocent folks overseas.

      With due respect to Dr. Stein, Gary Johnson is a very credible candidate. He is a former two-term governor as well as an entrepreneur. He has a shot to get into the debates (and the more that he appears on TV, the better chance he has of that). If he does make the debates, anything can happen.

      NORML has a chance to do something good this year – support a candidate for president who has credible experience (a two-term governor), is not a warmongering lunatic, and supports marijuana legalization … not only that …

      He was for a while the CEO of a MARIJUANA COMPANY.

      NORML is here to support MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION, not “progressive politics,” right?

      If you’re serious about that, endorse Gary Johnson for president. He’s the best shot all of us have to make serious progress in that direction.

  5. Many Republicans are looking toward the Libertarian Party as a conservative alternative to Trump. Tell me again how a third party vote is automatically a vote for Trump. I guess someone from the Clinton Foundation sat him down and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse…

  6. Every time someone tells you that your vote is wasted, they’re basically saying your opinions and thoughts are unimportant.

    If you’re not voting for who you actually agree with, if you’re voting because someone is a big scary bad man, you’re a sheep.

  7. Dear Mr. Stroup,

    I understand to a degree why you’d prefer HRC over Trump. I write this with much respect for your contributions to the cannabis community.

    There’s no way I’d vote for Trump, who has Chris Christie attached to his butt. That bastard wants to be AG. It’s not Trump I’m worried about; it’s the bigots that are surrounding him. But in regards to cannabis–Neocons like Bush, Walker, and especially Rubio are far worse than Trump.


    The Democrat Party has become increasingly bigoted and racist. Much of this is coming from the HRC camp. While I’m in line with much of the Democrat platform on equality and social issues, I’m going to call a turd a turd. Being prejudiced against white males is still prejudice.

    2. HRC has to earn people’s votes, but she has done her fair share of alienating voters. If Trump wins, don’t blame the American people for not choosing her. It’s on the Democrats, with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz getting special mention.

    I am a real life participant in this election cycle, working as a promoter/idea man for lesser-known Democrat candidate Rocky De La Fuente. He has ended his bid.

    Part of my job description was watching the 2016 election season unfold. I know about David Brock and his efforts to slander Bernie Sanders and his supporters. On Twitter, you could smell these paid Hillary trolls from a mile away.

    I’m a Sanders sympathizer, not necessarily a supporter. But do you really expect Sanders supporters to forget being the targets of wrongful accusations?

    Also, I experienced voter fraud first hand in CA, where it was widespread. De La Fuente experienced it during his campaign.

    Hillary = more Obama, but worse. More forced Globalism, NSA, Common Core BS, TPP, and chipping away at 1st, 2nd, 4th Amendment rights.

    If people don’t vote for either one, it’s not a “political statement”. That’s way too frivolous a term. You can’t force anyone to vote for a damn crook.

    Thank you for reading.

  8. Voting for either of the major party candidates is a wasted vote. To the extent that one’s vote matters at all (certainly not much at all in Calif which is so completely blue that there is really no contest here) a vote for Trump or Clinton is a vote to support the mainstream American policies of War, Surveillance and mass incarceration.

    1. Here here, every vote that inches us to a televised debate with Liberatarians of either principle or party….

  9. Thank you Keith for spelling out the limited status of Third Parties in America. Voters need to understand that Trump is grinning ear to ear when people say theyll vote for any third party. It means he can beat Hillary in the general election, and btw, placing your inexperienced kids in charge of your presidential cabinet is no fucking joke, thats just bating nuclear war. Hillary may be a compulsive liar and look the other way while her campaign manager breaks federal law but at least she won’t destroy NATO just to crack some personal deals with Russia. The Clintons will enrich themselves on inside deals for sure, but Trump would make the Bush ties to the Saudi Royal family look like the good ol days.

    I would add I count myself as one who will be slamming down a shot of tequila and lime to disinfect the aftertaste in my mouth after my vote for Hillary in November. With the pending opening of the Democratic convention tonight, Hillary’s distasteful hiring of DWashmoney Shultz in charge of her campaign after blaming the Russians and dismissing the fact she rigged the game, if we ever want to unify under a Democratic platform that aims to legalize marijuana Hillary should just APOLOGIZE to SANDERS and SUPPORT TIM CANOVA!!!
    But THATS not gonna happen, so its up to Sanders to lead the way and mend the Democratic party. If Sanders focuses on Tim Canova replacing the evil prohibitionist DWS as Congressman for Miami Dade, and perhaps if we get a Progressive like Julian Castro or Joaquin Castro to replace DWS as the Democratic chair, there’s a chance the Democratic Party can get our $#!+ together and unite against Drumph-Anslinger in November. Here’s hoping… With some Trainwreck and a bottle of Don Julio…

    1. Sorry, no. I fail to see how Hillary is any better than Trump. They both get a C- on the War on Drugs and they are both dishonest and untrustworthy. If you think Hillary will lift one pinky finger to alleviate the ravages of the war on drugs then you are deluded; the Democratic Party Platform will be forgotten on the day she is inaugurated. Trump has as much chance of sticking to the Democratic Party Platform as Hillary does.

      I am voting Libertarian and I do not consider my vote wasted if it is for someone I like and whom I want to see elected. Neither Clinton nor Trump will be good for this country and arguing over which is the lesser evil is just a waste of time.

      Besides, voting for a major candidate is just throwing away your vote because it just gets lost in the noise. But voting for a 3rd party sends a powerful message.

      1. And that message is that you are voting for who you like, and not researching who is better poised to reform marijuana law in the U.S.
        I respect your choice I just think you aren’t reading the facts if you think Trump is a team player. Listen, I don’t like Hillary. She lies too much. But her record shows we can lobby her. And believe me; This Progressive movement will not allow her or any Democratic Congressman steer clear of the platform we worked so hard to build. Democracy is about building and participating… And I respect that it takes votes to build a third party… But the stakes are too high to allow Trump in the Oval office. If a career independent, Bernie Sanders, who introduced legislation in the Senate to deschedule marijuana didn’t split off to run third party and endorsed Hillary to defeat Trump, what does that tell you about casting a vote for any third party during this election?

      2. “We could buy her… like corporations and global interests have done for decades. She’s a terrrrrible person. So is trump. I would rather NOT vote than vote for one of the 2 parties. They are actually pretty much 1 party. Democrats say “we need protection and equality” and Republicans say “ok we’ll get it made real cheap somewhere, once we get our army in there” then Democrats say “we need regulations for all this productivity” then there’s a giant mining disaster or natural disaster and neither parties really give a damn about ordinary people’s lives. There doesn’t need to be a “pathway to legalization” that has existed for decades as well. The public masses are confabulated about Clinton.

  10. How can you support Hillary Clinton? She has taken millions of dollars from the Saudi government, where they EXECUTE homosexuals and put women in prison for driving! She used her insecure email servers to sell U.S. secrets to foreign governments. She has enabled her serial rapist husband and harassed and threatened his victims to keep them quiet. She supports globalist trade deals that enrich corrupt corporations while stripping American of their jobs and their opportunities. She supports carbon taxes to provide MASSIVE wealth transfers from the middle class to global elitists who want to genetically modify all life on the planet, while pushing for the arrest of anyone who questions this global warming scam. She wants to disarm American citizens so we will be completely helpless against any future tyrannical government, when tyrannical governments murdered 262 MILLION people in the 20th century!
    And you call Trump a dangerous bigot??? Look, I want to see legalization as much as the next person, but not at the expense of the rest of our freedoms and our very future.
    Trump will be hosting a Reddit AMA on July 27th at 7:00 Eastern time. Everyone should get on there and ask him if he will promise that his administration will respect the rights of states to legalize medical and / or recreational marijuana. Also ask if he will support the DEA rescheduling marijuana to allow for medical use. If he says yes, vote for him and hold him to his word. If no, vote for Gary Johnson.

    1. Don’t know about your figure of 262 million murdered by tyrannical governments but there is an empire killing 6,000,000 a year, 200 million since 1853– $lave Addict Nicotine $igarettes. Cannabis legalization will help $lay that monster (substitute for tobacco as a way for kids to show off).

      Global warming scam? $igarettes kill trees 19 ways worldwide, including (1) deforestation to obtain planting land for tobacco crops, (2) $igarette-caused forest fires, (3) $igarette-caused house fires– more trees killed to supply timbers for replacement housing, (4) $igarettes cause appetite for sugarladen junkfoods, resulting in illness, driving demand for indoor heating in winter, supplied in some regions by burning logs, (5) $igarettes reduce healthy survival against cold, driving demand for more clothing, trees killed to obtain cropland for cotton, etc. etc.

      Maybe you don’t believe in global warming but it’s my understanding that trees eat carbon dioxide cited as a major cause of it (and droughts, flooding, hurricanes etc.).

      Let’s work together to legalize cannabis hemp, cited as major precursor crop for tree-planting, to rieferreforest our planet.

  11. Wow. I must say, I do agree. It’s a sign of these remarkable times, and of the severe danger Trump represents, that NORML will say “Do vote; Don’t vote third party; And whatever you do, don’t vote Trump!” Kinda narrows it down to women named Hillary, doesn’t it?

    But there’s a lot at stake, I agree. And even if we were to vote ONLY on the cannabis issue, Hillary is still the most pragmatic choice.

    1. If you want to support the principled stands of a third party, without splitting the vote against Trump, then there are still some things you can do: a) register third party (I’m proudly Green Party); b) vote third party whenever it is “safe” to do so, meaning you don’t live in a swing-state. Doing this will mean your support for your third party candidate will literally be counted.

      (In theory, anyway! Don’t get me started on private, proprietary Diebold Election Systems! Did you know: federal prosecutors filed charges against Diebold, Inc. on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 alleging that the North Canton, Ohio-based security and manufacturing company bribed government officials and falsified documents to obtain business in China, Indonesia and Russia. Diebold has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the two criminal counts against it. That’s according to Bob Fitrakis of Columbus Free Press. That’s on top of the problems they’ve caused us!)

  12. Here here Keith!

    I am sure you will catch some flak from some of the posters here, but I am personally very happy at the way you’ve laid out the situation regarding the prexy election.

    I can understand the anger and frustration of conservatives and republicans. But putting a loose wire like Drumpf into the white house seems to me like cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. The notion of a rich guy giving rat’s crap about anyone else is mind-boggling.

    It’s sickening that Trump has gotten out of paying small contractors so many times through law suits or the threat of law suits. Instead of paying of agreed upon prices, he simply takes ’em to court and ties up the case for years (oftentimes until they finally give up).

    This is a guy whose businesses have gone bankrupt six times, yet he always manages to make his money before leaving the investors holding the bag. That’s not someone I want running our economy. I can easily see him finishing the job that baby Bush started, that is, sending us crashing into a second Great Depression.

    His rich daddy left him a small fortune; he has NO concept what it feels like to go hungry, has NO empathy whatever for someone who isn’t rich like him.

    Would he push MJ legalization? Like Keith intimated–what day of the week is it? In any case, I don’t trust the GOP as far as I can spit on the issue of MJ legalization.

  13. Mr. Stoup, I am at this moment so disappointed with you and NORML for even considering to tell people how to vote. I have supported NORML for a long time and being broke all the time has kept me from being an active member more than one year at a time. I will save what little money I have and not support you or NORML from here on out. And since you opted to open the opinion box, let me give you mine. First of all, Clinton has lied continuously about everything she opens her mouth about. And that is all backed up by facts, look it up for yourself. You actually believe Clinton will bend over backwards to make cannabis legal? Democrats are the bigoted, racist and ignorant. They have no common sense when it comes to running the country. Proof? Look what Obama has done to America the last seven and a half years. 94 million people out of work equals 5% unemployment in this country. 20 trillion in debt. That’s trillion with a T. He has purged the military of most of the highest ranking in each section. The United States military is at it’s lowest level since WWI. Refugees are pouring into the country without being vetted. Obama is obviously unfit to be president, as is Clinton, and she will follow his policies. It would be like a third term for Obama. We can all fight among ourselves about specific issues and how best to achieve more progressive policies in this country. But none of us can afford the risk of a Clinton presidency.

  14. “But more importantly, Donald Trump is a bigoted, racist, ignorant candidate whom no one with a whit of common sense would want running our country, or having his finger on the nuclear button.”

    And Hillary is for sale.

    And she cheated the Bernie Bros.

    BTW the thermodynamic niches of the country (city, country) require two quite different governing philosophies.


    What both sides believe is that only their niche matters.

  15. I have great respect for your opinion Mr. Stroup. For that reason I will cast my vote for Clinton for president. Reluctantly, I have to admit that we have to stop Trump from winning this but I am really not happy; not one bit, with the Clinton/Kaine democratic ticket either…

    Kaine may say he supports states rights but it sucks to live in one where people like Kaine have decided to keep marijuana illegal. I was really pissed when Clinton chose him as her VP choice. Any one of her other choices would have been better in my opinion than that prohibitionist.

  16. Last night, I commented on what a criminal “Hitlery” is, along with her rapist husband, and my well-written comment was removed by morning. I never knew that NORML opposed free speech. No wonder they support the Clintons. Are you guys going to censor this comment, too? I’m disgusted. I support legalization, but I do not support an organization that censors non-offensive speech and supports criminals and traitors running for high office. NORML needs a re-boot.

  17. Well, now I just feel silly. Apparently my original comment is still up, but it didn’t come up when I pulled up the article this morning. I apologize for cutting down NORML, who apparently did not censor me. You might want to have some IT people check to see if the comments section is properly working, though.

    [Paul Armentano responds: The comments posted here are first reviewed and moderated by staff, hence the delay.]

    1. You are correct. Reform is NOT happening unless the Republicans change their opinion on weed, the social conservatives form part of their base.

  18. The drinks are spectacular and beat out my meds. The male birth control part is true. I’d know but details are off limits. Founding Fathers had it possibly they knew it’s a great male birth control. Even the labs could really help. Maybe a no smoking ban will get this pushed easier. I don’t think it’s a great idea for a minor to see grandma with a bong. My bong choice is a genie lamp. The drinks peak at 1 hour for my body type. My dystonia is relieved for many hours. Imagine it in wine or idk. Just the founding father issue makes one believe the states have been taken over

  19. Okay Keith, I’ll hold my nose and vote for Hillary… I wish she hadn’t chosen a prohibitionist for a VP though.

    I understand we just can’t let Trump, who just might be the anti-christ (if there is such a thing) to become president.

    1. …And not voting for either is voting to allow the greater evil to take our hard earned rights.

  20. “If Sanders focuses on Tim Canova replacing the evil prohibitionist DWS as Congressman for Miami Dade”

    Not to worry. In a sign that Hillary cares she has hired DWS to indicate to you how important to her your support is.

  21. Any questions as to why Hillary and Democrats (especially if Canova replaces Shultz next month) are the best option we have voting for cannabis legalization are answered in this great article from Leafly about the Democratic cannabis delegates gathering in the Union house in Philadelphia yesterday;


    If you don’t believe Keith or MPP that we should vote for Hillary why not listen to the Congressman fighting for us on the frontlines?
    So the Democratic cannabis movement has already moved up to the fancy clubhouse with Unions and scotch-drinkers? Read what Rep. Earl Blumehaur, D-OR has to say about Hillary in that article. He cuts to the chase.
    Meanwhile, over at the rescreening of War-of-the-Worlds meets Reefer-Madness they call the Republican Convention, where are Trump’s cannabis supporters? Oh, its just Dana Rohrabacher, the only Republican supporting cannabis legislation and the only one to admit to consuming cannabis while active in Congress… Wait… What’s this? Dana called Trump an “actor” and said “Nancy Reagan would be appalled by Trump.”? Damn, and Nancy was the “Just Say No” poster-girl for prohibition. So, ok, Trump has ZERO Republican cannabis legalization support in Congress. Do we really need to review who to vote for again? Or do I have to take everyone who thinks their third party vote won’t help Trump back to Trump University again?

  22. A third party vote is a wasted vote?

    No, not at all! A vote for either of two evils is a vote wasted if you do NOT support their policies of either big government or oligarchy, even if the Dems support “a pathway” to legalization….

    Third party votes prove that the people are demanding ACTUAL reform, not lip synced bullshit backed by media spin from someone who can’t protect emails or an embassy; or a bigoted,conniving,mouthy,gaffey, idiotic billionaire!

    Its bigger than JUST weed anyway, its the wars in ukraine/syria/iraq, trillions in debt, mass incarceration, terrorism, federal spending and tax obligations, better trade deals, LGBT rights, not ruining the economy with inflation by raisining the minimum wage, rolling back the military to invest more in intelligence, foreign policy, the gold standard, glass-skiegal regs, etc etc.

    Vote Libertarian while we have a country!

  23. Here’s the secret; read the NORML scorecard and vote for Congress!! Presidents don’t write law, they damn sure shouldn’t be writing any drug law, and the way were going to change that is by educating ourselves and voting the right people into Congress!!! And yes, that means voting during non-Presidential election years, and educating younger voters as to why thats more important than the presidency or even the coveted power to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Congress got us into this mess with the Controlled Substances Act, and its Congress that WE must force to get us out of it. The President will just get sent to court by taking executive action on re or descheduling without Congressional approval and the current Federal court stance on the Constitutionality of marijuana legalization is that “Congress doesn’t have to be right.” (Mueller, NE California). If we don’t agree with that, then donate to Tim Canova and let’s change the balance in Congress to a more Progressive representative Democracy.

    Let’s be clear; Keith didn’t say Hillary will “bend over backwards,” for legalization. But were talking about voting for the best option here to legalize cannabis, NOT WHO WE HATE THE LEAST!!! This isn’t some reality-tv superficial adolescent cafeteria table of school girls voting on the best and worst dressed award. Were voting for Congress and the Presidency here. If we don’t like the options were going to have to get more involved or run for public office ourselves. Let’s do our research and pick our poisons and get involved with our Democracy to vote in those best orchestrated to promote our policies to legalize cannabis instead of punching ourselves in the Dick every time we vote for anyone we hate least so any Anslinger with a fascist fear campaign can hijack our economy.

  24. I’d like to see the statistics on how many Republican politicians are pro-cannabis versus how many Democrats are pro-cannabis. If legalization is the goal, then that party, I’ll guess Democrats, is going to get us there faster than. If you vote for the majory party candidates who are not pro-legalization you are prolonging prohibition and the war the government is waging against its own citizens. This is where the cannabis community is told to keep waiting and waiting. I’m not a cheerleader for any particular party but rather will side with the party that is most likely to further my agenda items, one of which is legalization of cannabis. A president Trump could shoot off his mouth and try to nudge legalization along, perhaps in parallel universe, but good luck trying to get the Congressional Republicans to change their prohibitionist ways. The Congress doesn’t have to listen to the president, and they often don’t when the prez is from the opposition party. Prez Trump and the Congressional Republicans could continue their intra-party dissonance right into elected office. That is just something to distract them from the important matters they must focus on with tact and diplomacy, the use of military force saved for if those don’t work effectively.

    [Paul Armentano responds: From NORML’s Congressional Scorecard:
    Of the 233 Democrats in Congress, 208 members (89%) received a passing grade of a ‘C’ or higher.
    Of the 302 Republicans in Congress, 102 members (34%) received a passing grade of a ‘C’ or higher.]

  25. Hillary’s ideas of re scheduled marijuana will only increase the numbers of people going to jail for smoking pot .. Trump admitted he
    is pro Medical …just not pro recreational . we have to take baby steps …I remember bill Clinton and his “get tough on the war on drugs” attitude ..and the mandatory minimum sentences his administration created ..so I will vote trump …i also think another Clinton administration would be utter insanity

    [Paul Armentano responds: Rescheduling cannabis from schedule I to schedule II will arguably have little tangible effect on marijuana policy, as NORML has articulated repeatedly. But it is inaccurate to state that doing so will somehow increase the number of people prosecuted for marijuana violations.]

  26. Are all pot smokers really hardcore democrat mass incarcerationists ?
    I would love to see Bernie become president but dirty corrupt Hillary and her pal wasserman schultz will never let it happen

  27. Hillary Clinton is an old school prohibitionist. Trump is surrounding himself with prohibitionists. She doesn’t care one bit for facts or personal rights. This circle keeps going and the drain is getting closer… The only reason for NORML to suggest we vote for Clinton is because most of the marijuana reform activity is on the blue side of the “divide”. Clinton is more likely to sign “blue idea” laws instead of Trump, who would be owing a lot of favors to his prohibitionist friends. Trump is running on a “law and order” ticket, which is going to generate its own anti-marijuana bullshit as he makes nice with Law Enforcement. So it actually make sense to vote for the stronger prohibitionist simply because her party is already heading in the opposite direction–and she is along for the ride whether she wants to be or not. I will likely be voting Green and Blue. We need a Democratic Congress regardless of the crap choices for president!

  28. It is articles like this that remind me that this is not an organization concerned with accessible cannabis, but an organization bent on preserving progressive liberalism under the guise of promoting cannabis legalization.

    Anyone who has the ability to think rationally can look at Trump’s past statements (his actual statements, not the translation posted at Politico or Huffington Post,ect) and see that he is not bigoted. Nor is he ignorant. His own business is evidence to the contrary of this.

    After eight years of progressive leadership in the White House we are left seeing corruption infesting D.C. as never before, our economy is still in horrible shape, race relations have been set back fifty years, and terrorists have been emboldened around the globe due to our weakness on the issue if radical Islamists.

    People are sick of it and want something different. Hillary will be an extension of the Obama Administration, a third party will only be a spoiler for either the Democrats or Republicans, and Trump is the only person who seems to really have the country’s interest as his primary focus. He has stated his support for a state’s right to legalize cannabis how they see fit, and he has also stated his opinions regarding the failure of the war on drugs.

    As a reader I would appreciate if you stuck to the issues themselves regarding cannabis and not post tripe like this which insults my intelligence. Cannabis legalization quit being a partisan issue some time ago, and it’s about high time you act like it.

  29. For decades I’ve witnessed talk radio and FOX News cultivate an obnoxious, low-brow base for the GOP. (I once saw Rush Limbaugh insinuate that then 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton was the White House dog.) Suddenly in 2016, a good, old-fashioned demagogue Donald J. Trump stole this base from them. I have no sympathy for the current degenerative state of the Republicans. They did this to themselves.

    “… more importantly, Donald Trump is a bigoted, racist, ignorant candidate whom no one with a whit of common sense would want running our country, or having his finger on the nuclear button. Merely having him as a major party candidate is an embarrassment for the country, and has sent shockwaves throughout our allies in NATO and other strategic alliances. He is obviously unfit to be president.”

    I am amazed how un-obvious this seems to be to some of my fellow Americans.

    “Both Hillary Clinton and her vice-presidential running mate Sen. Tim Kaine support the right of the states to continue to experiment with different versions of marijuana legalization, without interference from the federal government.”

    This is as good as we’re going to get this time around, NORML fans.

    “While Donald Trump said he too holds that position, that was not apparent from the language in the Republican platform, that appeared to be heading in the other direction.”

    Don’t trust them.

    The Republicans will NOT change their prohibitionist tune unless we make them. They are NOT our friends, NORML fans. I figure 4 years of President Hillary may change their opinion on weed. Vote against the GOP this November.

    I’ve decided I would not believe ANY scandals involving ANY politicians. I find I have no reason not to vote for Hillary. I’m no historian, but she may be the most qualified Presidential candidate in history.

  30. If Trump wins we lose. The Repulicans will shut down the progres we have made. Ibelive they will incres the penltes on cannabis.

    1. My God there are so many clueless people here. Trump is one of the best candidates for medical marijuana and probably for legalization as well. He would be the logical choice for pro marijuana users behind Bernie Sanders. Smh.

  31. It’s interesting to see this sober assessment of DJ Trump and compare it to the prohibitionist GOP assessment–he’s their nominee for 2016!

    You have to ask yourself, what are these people smoking.

    I also applaud Keith’s placement of the national well-being ahead of NORML’s goals.

  32. Any commentary on Donald Trump’s views or opinions about him, beyond those relating to marijuana, seems superfluous on this site. To be clear, I am no Trump supporter; however, a significant portion of the population have made clear through the primary season that they share at the very least his passion. I prefer we not alienate any members of that portion of our nation by implying that they’re voting preferences are deeply flawed. If this is to become the Democratic NORML please give us fair warning. Personally, I lean Libertarian but am strongly in favor of progressive marijuana policies. Marijuana is a big tent, let us keep it that way.

  33. Wow… So many cannabis users are democrats. I wonder why that is? I prefer the republican side because I am a business owner AND I believe in SMALL government, not inflated massive government such as our gov under the Obama-Clinton agenda.

    Hilary Clinton is dangerous- have we already forgotten about Benghazi and her blatant ignorance of air support for those people?

    Trump is a big mouth, I get it. But I sure as hell don’t buy into that bullshit “he’s gonna start a nuclear war” that is so pathetic how that is the one argument the liberals have. I mean cmon … Presidents surround themselves with people that help get the job done. Reagan admitted he was not the smartest man in the room by far, however he surrounded himself with the smartest people in the world, and consulted with them prior to making decisions.

    We’ve had 8 years of massive, big government, bad foreign deals, and federalism at its worst. Literally almost socialism.

    Clinton is just an extension of Obama and I’ll be damned if I vote to keep America how it is currently. I’ll be voting for trump in November because I want a fucking change. I don’t care who the other candidate was gonna be, if Clinton was the democratic nominee I’m voting republican.

    1. Ok Kyle, you kept it clean and somewhat intelligible so you lured me into a response;
      “Why are so many cannabis [consumers] Democrats?”

      -Because regular cannabinoid supplementation stimulates more representative participation in society and counteracts the plaque build up in our brains from even watching the clips from Fox “News.”

      -I too am a small business owner and improving marijuana policy is not so much a question of the size of government so much as electing officials that will replace bad law-bureaucracies (like the CSAct, NIDA and the DEA) with good law policies (like fairly regulated, tax with representation marijuana legalization).

      -Oh Jesus… Benghazi again… Take two puffs of some couchlocking Indica and call me in the morning. While Hillary’s handling of Benghazi was pathetic (like lying that she flew in on a chopper before the dust settled while a CNN anchor with her was like… “No we didn’t”) Allow me to humbly remind you that to PREVENT disasters like Benghazi our Republican Congress can’t just CUT FUNDING on security and then promptly blame security failures on the Secretary of State or the President who rely on said funding for diplomacy and security. Congress also needs to make it illegal for the State Department to contract war clean-up with the same institutions that get intelligence contracts to determine threats to national security. And end the Drug War; Which Democrats are poised to do, not Republicans.

    2. “But I sure as hell don’t buy into that bullshit that he’s gonna start another nuclear war,”

      -Venturing off the topic of marijuana, (although perhaps some marijuana MIGHT cause Trump to think a little before he threatens national security just to get some rating$ and free press), keep in mind that Trump has been saluting and bating the worlds’ fellow authoritarian dictators, including Putin, Kim Jong Il and even the deceased Hussein. Bating Russia to hack US emails during an election campaign is treasonous and gives us insight to where Trump’s loyalties lie. It places our intelligence operatives in danger and worse, it emboldens dictators like Putin to continue selling old nuclear stockpiles to countries that turn them over to terrorists like Pakistan. Normally these Russian nuclear weapons are old and innocuous but theres this thing called diplomacy that good secretaries of State like John Kerry use to keep the really bad weapons out of the hands of bad people. In a Trump world with, God forbid, Chris Christi as Secretary of State, the arming of insurgents would become a back door black market for every racketeer in Jersey who ever did Trump or Christi a favor, which means bad weapons get into the hands of bad people, like what Bush did during the Iraq war while VP Cheney chaired Haliburton and Reagan did at the end of the Cold War.
      To be fair, Bill Clinton had his hands in war profiteering too. But when we elect a president we need to weigh in the cabinet and the Congress we are voting in as well, and this is where Trump’s campaign borders on holocaust. All politicians give cabinet positions for inside favors, but Trump declared his CHILDREN would run his white house. That’s not a joke, that’s a threat to national security.
      And dude, we already have socialism in our democracy; its called medicaid, corporate welfare and defense spending, the last two which Republicans are in love with.

      1. I’m sorry, did I say “Democracy?” I meant our oligarchy that we are desperately trying to get back to Democracy by ending the drug war.

  34. Disagree with this article. Donald Trump is not a racist and bigot like you claim. He is the best chance for this country to move forward. Crooked hillary is a con artist and cannot be elected. Trump 2016.

  35. Horse poo! Trump is only SAID by media & other liars to be those things listed in the 1st part of the article. That’s because he is a threat to the status quo establishment that ‘progressive’ Dems built & some R’s are now in on.

    Wanna know more about Trump copy & paste the following into a search–

    Kelleigh Nelson Archives Donald Trump

    One thing in Trumps favor? All the R AND D enemies he has made as they try to defend the corrupt good old USA establishment that is taking the USA down & toward the CFR’s North American Union.

    Do the research. I do not make this stuff up.


    aka medMUser

  36. I use to believe in this website site and backed the NORML movement, but to push such a ignorant political statement shows me the light. If Cannibis reform is the only agenda in the political scheme for NORML. Why isn’t the push for a third party vote movement in the right direction? They have only ever been the parties to truly advocate real cannabis reform. I have lost all respect for NORML publication because of this article. The statement against Trump is a sign of liberal ignorance and to say wasting a vote on a third party option is also liberal ignorance. Most third party candidates are the only ones to back true Cannibis reform, therefore they should be are only option. Politics are not black or white and to think so shows that we as American people need to look towards other options.

    1. “Politics aren’t white or black.” Good point. We have the ability to research and access information from the whole gray spectrum on the devices we are using to write with like never before in human history. So with a little investigation we can see that voting for a third party helps Trump not by some wild ideology; its just plain, factual math. As I’ve said before, it takes years of campaign structuring, investments and more Americans voting to allow a third party candidate to have a chance at winning a national election, and sadly that is just not going to happen this time around.
      Look, Im voting for Hillary and I hate the bit€h! But this isn’t some popularity contest, its the vote for our next commander in chief and his or her ability to work with Congress to get real marijuana reform passed. And I regret to inform you that Putin and his cronies aren’t lending money to Trump to donate to NORML PAC…

  37. Donald Trumo just said he does not agree with Chris Christie’s views regarding marijuana, supports medical mj completely, and would never interfere in state developments regarding marijuana legalization regulations. This is far more support than Obama has ever had with MJ. Keith is a complete partisan brainwashed by modern day politically correct progressive liberalism. No question about it.

  38. Trump has warts. I concede that. His are all PRIVATE CITIZEN warts. Next to HRC’s mostly PUBLIC “SERVICE” warts, Trump’s are microscopic.

    There is a lot more hanging on this election than cannabis. There is the future of the whole USA at stake. HRC is a PROVEN liar, over & over again! Trump didn’t let the people at Benghazi die by ignoring some 600 requests for added security, then tell grieving families it was because of a video.

    Trump didn’t sign off on the selling of a chunk of a uranium mine to Russia, who sells uranium to Iran.

    Trump doesn’t have a ‘pay for favors’ foundation. Trump doesn’t take ‘donations’ from ME nations that treat women as 3rd class

    Any honest person doing honest research KNOWS what HRC is & her ties to Wall Street. Knows she enabled her husband as a sex maniac. SHE sent PIs to intimidate Bill’s victims.

    The Clinton Foundation pays women some 30% less than men. Trump has more female executives than male & pays all his employees the same for the same work.

    IF, IF & IF anyone wants to do research on Trump. look up

    Kelleigh Nelson Archives Donald Trump

    HRC will keep the USA going to heck in a hand basket. With Trump, we at least have a shot at turning the USA around.

    Want more on HRC? I have a LOT more.


    aka medMUser

  39. Trump is ignorant of truth, deals in spewing viotality, hatred, irrationality whose venom changes between AM & PM it’s focus FEAR, clouds
    the mind. He’s depressing

  40. When I see articles like this published on NORML, I get an idea as to why this fight is so difficult.
    The unfounded Trump-attack claims only act to divide the cause.
    The only way for us to win is if this is a non-polarized issue.
    We need legalization to be heralded by both parties.

  41. I know that this is going to sound like “Hindsight being 20-20″…
    But way back in Aug 2015 (geez, almost a year ago on the nose) when the Repub Debates were going on, My wife asked me “Why is Donald Trump there, isn’t he just a businessman?”
    I told her on that very day what my REAL opionion was. I said “Actually, sweetheart, my best guess is that Hillary and the DNC have HIRED the Don to run with the following goals in mind:
    1) He will make a mess of the Debates, confusing them, if nothing else,
    2) IF he gets to the ballot, he will -dilute- the vote for any valid candidate,
    3) IF, and this is a big “if” hon, he manages to get the party nod, then the Democrats win, whichever way it goes.
    4) Once it WAS pretty much a shoe-in for Hillary, she OF COURSE wanted to be running against Trump.

    Basically giving the Nation ‘an offer it couldn’t refuse.’ Hillary had the following:
    A) Congressional Experience,
    B) Cabinet Experience, and
    C) Presidential Experience (Observationally, at any rate.)
    D) PERSONAL relationships with World Leaders (and their spouses)
    And Donald is… A businessman that knows pretty much how to:
    a) Start a company,
    b) Rape it, and
    c) Declare Bankruptcy,
    d) (see step a)

    I told her that the only thing that Don know how to do is, get paid to do a job.

    And to this day, I swear that this is what he was doing the whole time.
    The DNC –PAID– DT to run, screw up the Repub party, and make a Demo the ONLY choice.

    And, back in Aug of 2015, my wife said I was foolish.

    Now, she just sighs.

  42. You’re only throwing your vote away when you vote for a candidate, or party, who you know does not share your values. LIVE FREE, VOTE LIBERTARIAN!

  43. Voting 3rd party is not throwing away a vote. That has been the theme to scare away potential supporters based on opinion.
    The Nader argument has already been debunked. Anti-Vax debunked. Johnson is for the TPP so he’s out. The only votes wasted ‘in my opnion’ are the ones being cast for Trump and Clinton. They’re the same snake in the grass. Just painted different colors. Red or Blue. Those 2 colors have dominated politics for far too long.
    People read articles like this for guidance thru information gathering. To simply disavow 3rd parties is counterproductive for the anti-prohibition movement. Why would you do that? Do you really want legalization? What will you all do once that happens? Will you have anything left to do? Is that why I read tripe like this? Just so you can keep ‘fighting’ a little longer than necessary? Sorry, it’s frustraing to see others dishearten the efforts the Green Party are making in light of their full support for legalization. Jill Stein is the answer to that. No other candidate is going to
    work harder for that to become a reality. Trump and Hillary are both 4 more years of oppression to our cause.

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