In a refreshing change from politics as usual, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain openly voiced his support for states’ rights regarding medical marijuana during a campaign appearance Tuesday in Urbandale, Iowa. “If states want to legalize medical marijuana, I think that’s a state’s right,” NBC News reported Cain as saying. “Because one of my overriding approaches to looking at all of these issues – most of them belong at the state (level), because when you do something federally . . . you try to force one-size-fits-all.”

Cain’s advocacy may be an attempt to separate himself from both his fellow Republicans and President Obama, whose administration has turned against medical marijuana in the last year, conducting raids on dispensaries as well as having federal prosecutors in medi-pot states threaten dispensary operators and landlords with forfeiture of property, arrest and prosecution. 

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The only other Republican who might remotely support states’ rights to legal medicinal cannabis is Rick Perry, but he has made no such public statements as Cain has now done.  In doing so, perhaps the ex-Godfather’s Pizza CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City may be raising the bar in blatantly attempting to win over pro-pot voters. The most recent Gallup Poll indicates a record 50 percent of Americans support outright legalization and an overwhelming majority favor medi-pot.  

Should Cain snare the GOP nomination at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, thus setting up an historic race of two African-American males vying for the most powerful political office in the world, he could potentially siphon votes away from Obama in the 16 states (plus D.C.) that have legalized medical cannabis. The most current polls show Obama soundly beating Cain from anywhere between four to ten percentage points, so the medicinal pot issue could very well narrow the gap should the two square off come November 2012.  

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