During the 2012 elections the issue of marijuana legalization is not an issue that you hear many of the presidential candidates make an official statement on, yet their stance is implied by their party's platform (or, so they think). Across the board views on this controversial issue vary by candidate, but below is a general synopsis of where each candidate stands on the issue:
While Obama may be swayed on decriminalizing marijuana and allowing medical marijuana, albeit not always openly, there have been no talks or hints from Obama directly about legalizing marijuana outright. Some critics think that Obama will pull some kind of political maneuver to make marijuana more accessible prior to the 2012 elections, but at this point, that appears to be doubtful. When it comes down to a general election, supporting an issue like marijuana would lose more independent voters than it would gain for the president.
Mitt Romney is and always has been against legalizing marijuana in any shape or form. Republicans in general have not had any mainstream political figure come out in support of legalizing marijuana aside from former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, but he is no longer with the party since his views were not widely accepted. If it came down to Romney's signature on a marijuana legalization bill in Congress, I would be shocked if Romney did not vote against it.
Gary Johnson (L-NM)
Former Gov. Johnson is probably the most outspoken public official supporter of marijuana legalization. He used marijuana legalization as one of his campaign issues when he was running as a Republican in both New Mexico and for president, and he is still running with that idea now as the Libertarian Party's nominee. He states the facts in support of legalization clearer than any other candidate, and it's tough to deny his argument when he gets the chance to present it.
Jill Stein (G-MA)
Jill Stein is right up there with former Gov. Johnson in terms of being one of the most open and vocal advocates of legalizing marijuana. She speaks at rallies around the country on a regular basis, is not afraid to talk about the issues related to marijuana. If she were elected president, she would be a great advocate for marijuana legalization.
Rocky Anderson (J-UT)
Just like his fellow candidates who are more progressive in nature (ex. Jill Stein), Rocky Anderson is all for legalizing medicinal marijuana and even marijuana in general. While he may not have even a faint chance of winning election, he is definitely on the right side of the battle for legalization in the eyes of supporters.
There you have a brief look at the stances of the top five most prominent candidates for president on marijuana legalization. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever other political affiliation marijuana legalization is an issue that cannot be ignored forever. I know my stance on marijuana, but what's yours?