As the country gets ready for the much-debated November 2020 elections that are fast approaching, election scorecards are being released, taking the pulse of the country and how we feel about hot-button issues. According to Michigan’s cannabis-focused election scorecard, the once-liberal issue of cannabis is now becoming increasingly bipartisan. 

The card was released ahead of the primary elections to give a preview of what might be in store this coming fall. According to the results, state lawmakers across the board are starting to favor legalizing cannabis—not just liberal, progressive, or Democratic candidates, as in years past. The survey comes from the Lansing-based political consultants Grassroots Midwest. It grades candidates as well as looks at the numbers on issues. 

“The results confirmed what we are seeing firsthand, that support for cannabis has become a bipartisan issue,” Robin Schneider, executive director of the MiCIA, claimed in a released statement, according to the Detroit Metro Times. “As we have rolled out our industry in Michigan, lawmakers are respecting and upholding the will of the voters.”

Cannabis questions like  “Studies show racial disparities in cannabis related law enforcement, despite the fact that white people and people of color use and sell cannabis at the same rate. Will you support policies to minimize these disparities?” and “Would you be supportive of state-licensed cannabis businesses located in your district?” found out exactly how people feel about racially charged cannabis issues and the presence of dispensaries in Michigan. 

Some questions got even more political, including “Individuals have been deported, denied green cards, denied admission to the country, and have been removed from federally subsidized housing based on state-legal cannabis use and/or involvement in the state-legal cannabis industry. Would you work to end these federal consequences for state-legal cannabis activities?” 

The survey on the scorecard also had a question asking about the new, trending topic of the MORE Act, the act that would regulate cannabis on a federal level, as well as a question about support of cannabis legalization nationwide in the event of a turning tide this election season. All in all, it covered the biggest issues in cannabis right now, and most of the results were favorable for legalization. 

Is This Data Accurate?

Despite the politically charged nature of some of these questions, both Democrats and Republicans in Michigan overwhelmingly showed that they would support cannabis. One hundred percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans earned an A or B when it came to cannabis issues.

However, the numbers are skewed, as 66 percent of Democrats filled out their answers, and only 33 percent of Republicans turned theirs in. Among those who did not respond are Randy Maloney (Democrat), and Michael Bouchard, a Republican who is known for being extremely anti-cannabis. 

Despite the flaws in this data, and the fact that this only reflects info for one state, these numbers are indicative of a bigger shift in the U.S. when it comes to thinking about legal cannabis. Hopefully, this serves as a preview of what’s to come with full, nationwide legalization in the near future.

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