Betsy Woodruff thinks that the Republicans could use pot as a wedge issue against the Democrats:
For the GOP, this is more than just an opening; it’s a magical messaging moment, which, to paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, conservatives shouldn’t let go to waste. “This is a classic example of where they can walk the walk,” says Tim Lynch of the Cato Institute. This isn’t really a drug-legalization issue; it’s a states’ rights issue and a limited-powers issue. All conservatives have to agree on is that the federal government might have better things to do with its freshly printed money than try to enforce a nigh-unenforceable law that local voters and leaders think was a bad idea in the first place.
That’s how Clarence Thomas sees it, too. In his dissenting opinion in Gonzales v. Raich — a case that decided that California couldn’t allow home-grown medical marijuana — Thomas wrote that “local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not ‘Commerce . . . among the several States.’” And, therefore, it’s not in the purview of the Feds. “Our federalist system,” he continued, “properly understood, allows California and a growing number of other States to decide for themselves how to safeguard the health and welfare of their citizens.”
Just sub “Washington and Colorado” for “California,” and you have a constitutionally sound, politically popular, stupidly simple criticism of the White House. If the GOP is going to be competitive in 2016, it has to communicate to young people that intrusive federal government makes their lives worse. It has to communicate that it’s the party that respects personal choice and individual responsibility. And it would probably help to communicate that when in doubt, the GOP doesn’t automatically take the side of the insanely expensive branch of the federal government that breaks into people’s homes, shoots their dogs, and imprisons them because they added a funny ingredient to their brownies.
But expect the Stupid Party to continue to be so.