The coming marijuana enforcement voting rights crackdown
On Thursday, the White House made clear that we should expect to see the government step up its efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it has been legalized. What wasn’t said, but what is easy to predict, is what we are going to see in states where it hasn’t.
In 40 states, varying quantities of marijuana possession combined with varying numbers of offenses can result in a felony conviction. Felonies, in some states, result in disenfranchisement.
I’m not an expert on this subject by *any* means, but what seems apparent to me is that the mechanism to disenfranchise a targeted population with a higher-than-average percentage of anti-Trump voters already exists, and can be expanded in the 27 states where Republicans enjoy total control of the legislative agenda.
The Sessions Justice Department is already stepping up its rhetoric on marijuana. Expect that to be translated into proposals at the state level to treat first-time marijuana possession as a felony in tandem with tougher treatment for felons — principally, the stripping of voting rights.