- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2018

Imagine what the old hippies of yore would have thought. But here it is: an official cannabis industry guide for lawmakers. Indeed, the National Cannabis Industry Association has released a new report covering what they describe as “the growing popularity of marijuana policy reform and the political benefits candidates in either party could reap by embracing the issue.”

They believe these benefits could make a difference in an excruciatingly close race, The report is titled “The New Politics of Marijuana: A Winning Opportunity for Either Party,” and includes recent polling data on “adult-use legalization,” potential economic and tax benefits, electoral wins for cannabis reform in the U.S. plus information about emerging public support.

And please. It’s called “cannabusiness” these days.

“The failed experiment of marijuana prohibition is almost over and voters are clearly recognizing the benefits of replacing illegal marijuana markets with well-regulated, responsible businesses,” says Aaron Smith, executive director of the trade group, headquartered just a few blocks from the White House.

“Policymakers on both sides of the aisle are beginning to wake up to this reality and candidates who fully embrace the issue this election cycle will reap the political benefits for years to come,” Mr. Smith predicts.

The industry group, incidentally, will stage a national “cannabusiness” conference in California next month in a 60,000-square-feet venue showcasing 150 vendors. The theme: “Navigating the World’s Largest Adult-Use Market.” Organizers expect 3,000 attendees and plan to school them on policy updates and how to keep their business compliant with regulations.

And yes, those old hippies likely would never believe the current state of what was once a clandestine affair.

REPUBLICAN PARTY FAVORABILITY IS WHAT?

A new headline from Gallup: “Republican Party favorability highest in seven years.”

This dispatch is from our “Wait, what?” desk.

“Forty-five percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party, a nine-point gain from last September’s 36 percent. It is the party’s most positive image since it registered 47 percent in January 2011, shortly after taking control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Forty-four percent give the Democratic Party a favorable rating,” writes Gallup analyst Jim Norman.

“The parity in Republicans’ and Democrats’ favorable ratings marks a change from what has generally been the case since Barack Obama’s election as president in November 2008. Republicans have usually been rated less positively than Democrats over this time, with the Republican Party’s favorability rating for the last decade averaging 39 percent, compared with the Democratic Party’s 44 percent,” Mr. Norman says.

THE ROSENSTEIN UPDATE

The media likes nothing better than a cliffhanger. A few headlines regarding Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein following a New York Times report that he had once considered wearing a “wire” against President Trump in an effort to remove him from office. Form the last 24 hours:

“Rosenstein will meet with Trump to discuss his fate” (The New York Times); “Rod Rosenstein to meet with Trump Thursday as his fate is uncertain” (USA Today); “Rod Rosenstein departure would turn the Mueller investigation on its head” (CNN); “If Rod Rosenstein leaves, don’t expect Congress to step in to protect the Russia probe” (The Washington Post); “Rosenstein fired or resigned? Here’s why it matters” (The Washington Examiner); “Here’s who would replace Rod Rosenstein” (The New York Post).

‘KAVANAUGH STILL HAS THE EDGE’

They are inevitable but compelling findings.

“Kavanaugh has the edge in voter trust,” notes a new Rasmussen Reports survey. “Voters are closely divided over whether U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault a girl when he was in high school, although many are still withholding judgment.”

The poll finds that 33 percent of likely U.S. voters “believe the California woman who has accused Kavanaugh of attempting to sexually assault her when they were teenagers.” Slightly more (38 percent) believe Judge Kavanaugh, who has denied the claim. But a “sizable” 29 percent are undecided, the survey said.

SHAMING A SHAM

Radio host and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro offers a new perspective on the festering controversy surrounding the aforementioned Judge Kavanaugh and his determined quest to be a Supreme Court justice.

“This whole Kavanaugh sham from the Democrats — the allegations may not be a sham but the way the Democrats treated it is a sham — that sham is a 2018 get-out-the-vote effort,” Mr. Shapiro said during a recent appearance on “Watters’ World.”

“There is no question that this is what they are attempting to do. And it all plays into electoral politics in a pretty disgusting way.”

Mr. Shapiro, by the way, is currently headlining “Election Special,” a new Fox News series centered on the midterms, airing Sundays at 8 p.m. through the election.

POLL DU JOUR

45 percent of registered U.S. voters are “more enthusiastic” about voting in the midterm elections; 44 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 52 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent of voters overall are “extremely” interested in the elections; 43 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 50 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent of voters overall are “very” interested; 27 percent of Republicans, 20 percent of independents and 23 percent of Democrats agree.

24 percent of voters overall are “somewhat” interested; 25 percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

6 percent overall are “not at all” interested; 4 percent of Republicans, 4 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Fox News poll of 1,003 registered U.S. voters conducted Sept. 16-19.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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