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  • May 8 2012

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    Will Obama’s medical marijuana crackdown lose him swing state electoral votes?

    Colorado's 9 electoral votes are very much in play for 2012 (source: electoral-vote.com)

    Huffington Post analyzes the 2012 electoral vote race between President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney:

    The push against the Colorado businesses and the patients they serve is just the latest in the Obama administration’s bizarre action against a plant that was at one point a cultural flash point, but which now religious leader Pat Robertson says should be legal.

    The timing is also curious given the upcoming November election. Colorado’s nine electoral college votes are up for grabs, and Obama’s path to reelection gets very steep without the state in his corner. The legalization amendment on the ballot in November could drive otherwise complacent voters to the polls, but they may not end up backing Obama. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is not ashamed to tout his support of pot legalization, threatening to syphon protest votes that otherwise would have gone to Obama.

    Looking at that map, I can only imagine that President Obama’s campaign strategists are happy that medical marijuana states California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Michigan, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Delaware are solidly in his camp.  However, I’m guessing that Democratic strategists for the other races on the ballot aren’t happy that Obama’s anti-medical marijuana stance may depress voter turnout among some disillusioned Dems (who are likely disillusioned over more than just medical pot).  Gary Johnson and Jim Gray are probably happy that Dems in those states can lodge a protest vote for the anti-drug-war Libertarian ticket, knowing that vote won’t cost Obama their states.

    But I wonder how the Obama strategists feel about medical marijuana states Arizona and Montana?  Any chance Obama might have at swinging Arizona seemed remote with the immigration debate that tears apart that state; now add to that a nascent medical marijuana movement that sees Justice Department threats all over their state that have stymied the voter approved dispensaries.  And Montana, one of the few too-close-to-call states, is likely to swing back hard to the GOP by at least the 20,000 votes of sick people who used to be legit medical marijuana patients, forced out of the program by the draconian SB 423, a medical marijuana repeal that could have been written by Obama’s DoJ.

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