For many people, 2016 marks their first year voting in an election. According to data from the United States Census, roughly 31 percent of the electoral vote is made up of “new-age baby boomers,” who are between the ages of 18 and 35. With such a high percentage, America’s youth will have a significant role come Nov. 8 in deciding who’s feet are fit enough to fill President Obama’s large and rundown shoes.
The University of Rhode Island, enrolling a total of 16,783 “new-age baby boomers,” will have a crucial impact in the decision making behind Rhode Island’s four electoral votes. Freshman Alex Smith, who is registered as an independent, favors Clinton.
“She’s qualified to be president based off her experience and her focus on the middle class’s wellbeing,” Smith said. “It’d also be great to see our first woman president.”
On the other hand, independently registered freshman Jack Jenckes, says otherwise.
“[Republican candidate Donald] Trump, unlike Hillary, has business experience, running multiple, million dollar companies that could help us with trade in industry with foreign countries that can help stabilize our own economy while helping America’s reputation with foreign nations,” Jenckes said.
Of course, many are still indecisive about the choice between Trump and Clinton. However, a single factor could possibly swing one over the other: their stance on drugs. More specifically, their stance on marijuana, “Mary Jane,” “the Devil’s lettuce,” or whatever other names it may be referred to as. As the “wonder drug” is slowly becoming legalized, it could very well influence a young voter’s decision.
In 2012, Colorado passed its 64th amendment which officially made the recreational use of marijuana legal by those over 21 years of age.
Additionally, last year in Colorado alone, legal marijuana was a whopping $2.4 billion industry, even though it was “only” projected to pull in $1 billion. And that’s not even including retail sales of accessories, such as water pipes and grinders. Not to mention, it has also accounted for 18,005 new jobs. Colorado’s success has encouraged Alaska, Oregon and Washington to also legalize recreational use. By 2020, it’s projected to surpass tobacco as the state’s largest excise revenue source, according to the Marijuana Policy Group.
Trump is known to have had varied opinions on marijuana. In 1990, he told the Miami Herald, “We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war.”
This makes sense, as taking away business from drug lords would help work toward winning the “war on drugs.” However, in more recent interviews, Trump has sided toward medicinal usage over recreational. While it seems that he understands its medical benefits, he remains undecided on its recreational purpose.
Clinton doesn’t have a clear stance either. Although she recognizes it’s medical use in cancer treatment, as well as its recreational benefits, she would like to see how it plays out before taking a side. While appearing on WBZ NewsRadio in January, she said, “States are laboratories for democracy,” and favored Colorado for legalizing marijuana. While Colorado experienced with America’s first legal marijuana industry, Clinton was able to take note of what works, and what doesn’t. And, because of it’s economic benefits, it’s plausible to believe that Clinton favors the marijuana movement.