Georgia Senate candidate, Jon Ossoff, is done taking the youth support for marijuana legalization for granted. In his runoff bid, he’s deploying campaign tactics on the social media app “TikTok” to promote his support for marijuana legalization!
Why Senators are Taking to TikTok to Spread the Word About Cannabis Legalization
With two weeks before the vote, and one other Georgia Senate runoff election (which together will decide which party ultimately controls the Senate), Ossoff’s campaign has taken this stance on the heavily teen-populated app to generate enthusiasm. It’s been met with mixed reviews in the media, but one of his latest videos, published on Tuesday, is at least reassuring for cannabis reform advocates. Ossoff recognizes that marijuana legalization is popular among young people, and he proclaims on TikTok that their vote in Georgia will determine whether sweeping federal marijuana reform is enacted in the next Congress.
The Famed TikTok Campaign Video
In the video, Ossoff pretends to call a restaurant to place a food order and spells out his first name, mnemonically referencing parts of his progressive agenda that seems to be popular amongst voters, in order to confirm the spelling. It reads as:
“Hey, yeah I’d like to place an order for pickup please. Yeah, it’s Jon. ‘J’ as in jobs.
‘O’ as in over 1.5 million Georgians have voted early in the runoff for U.S. Senate and if you want to relieve student loan debt, save the environment, legalize marijuana and increase the minimum wage to $15 you better vote now.
And ‘N’ is for New Civil Rights Act.”
Can Making Politics More Relatable Be a Benefit for Marijuana Legalization Efforts?
It definitely is not the first instance of politicians going to new lengths to be seen as relatable to younger generations; who could forget when Hillary Clinton confidently proclaimed “Pokemon GO, TO THE POLLS”. One thing for certain is how the runoff results will impact the prospects of marijuana reform next year.
Democratic wins for both seats in Georgia would mean that the party would reclaim command over the Senate, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker in instances of a 50-50 split. Both Ossoff and the other Democratic Senate candidate in the state, Rev. Raphael Warnock, are both in favor of drug/marijuana policy reform.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who would be expected to ascend to majority leader if Democrats retake control, has pledged to bring marijuana legislation to the floor, if given the power to do so.
However, if Republicans keep the majority by winning even one of the Georgia seats, the prospects of ending federal marijuana prohibition would likely be dimmed for at least the next two years. Current GOP leadership in the Senate has given no signal that they would take up, let alone prioritize, marijuana reform, no matter how minute the change may be.
Why is Georgia So Crucial to Federal Marijuana Reform?
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) also recently recognized that the fate of federal marijuana legalization largely rests on the shoulders of Georgia voters next month. “Look, if you’re in Georgia right now, you will control whether weed gets legalized or not based upon whether you go out and vote.”
In a recent interview, Ossoff also recently blasted the hypocrisy of lawmakers who oppose cannabis reform and yet “take millions and millions from drug companies that produce highly addictive opiates that have ravaged this country” and “take millions from the alcoholic beverages industry, where alcohol is more destructive to the human body and mind than cannabis.”
“They allow Black people in particular to be arrested and incarcerated and “destroy their opportunities for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses,” he told Rolling Out. “Cannabis should be legalized, regulated and taxed.”
“I’m not just for decriminalization,” he said. “I’m for full legalization of marijuana nationwide and the expungement of all records for nonviolent cannabis-related offenses.”
Ossoff similarly told MSNBC that “we need to reform our nation’s drug laws, legalize cannabis [and] stop locking people up for nonviolent drug related offenses.”
A bill to federally legalize marijuana did pass in the U.S. House of Representatives this month, but with Republicans in control of the Senate and a limited time frame before the end of the session, reform will very likely have to wait until next year, depending in large part on Georgia voters’ decision on January 5. So if you know or can get in touch with anyone from Georgia, make sure they understand the severity of this election! Spread the word!
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