When it comes to marijuana, Bloomberg needs to get his story straight

click to enlarge OK, Bloomer. - rblfmr/Shutterstock.com
rblfmr/Shutterstock.com
OK, Bloomer.
As bad as that tape of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg defending the racist stop-and-frisk policies of his NYC mayoral administration, it also has an anti-marijuana side that hasn't been as widely publicized. A short clip of the 2015 Aspen Institute speech went viral on social media last week. A longer version of the speech reveals a deep stream of marijuana hate that seems it would be difficult to change the course of. In reference to Colorado legalizing marijuana he said, "I think it's a terrible, terrible idea." He went on to bemoan, "I can't imagine why society is doing this."

Apparently his imagination has expanded because while he still opposes marijuana legalization, he has taken a softer tone. More recently he told a Colorado journalist, “Colorado has a right to do what they want to do,” he replied. “I would advise going slowly to any other state because it’s not clear — doctors aren’t sure whether or not it’s doing damage. But if a state wants to do it, and Colorado and Washington were the first two that did it, that’s up to the state.”

Then Bloomberg tacked on something more in tune with current trends: "But what I really object to is putting people in jail for marijuana."

Really? Wasn't that the ultimate course of stop-and-frisk? It looks like Bloomberg is going to have to do some serious tidying up of his attitude toward marijuana in order to convince users that he’s serious about his new claims. Bloomberg and Joe Biden are the only Democratic candidates who have not openly embraced marijuana legalization.
A November 2019 Pew Research Center poll found that 67 percent of Americans support recreational marijuana legalization. Running a campaign that is not marijuana-friendly looks to be a very tricky endeavor in 2020.

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About The Author

Larry Gabriel

Larry Gabriel covers cannabis for Metro Times. He also writes the Detroit Watch in the monthly Michigan Cannabis Industries Report. Larry's chapter "Rebirth of Tribe" in the book Heaven Was Detroit, from jazz to hip-hop and beyond chronicles the involvement of Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Harold McKinney,...
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