Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican gubernatorial candidate for governor, says his position on marijuana legalization has evolved and he respects states that have legalized it through voter referendum. Tweet at @KenCuccinelli: Tweet
Cuccinelli clarified his views on marijuana at an Albemarle County Republican Party meeting after answering a student’s question at the University of Virginia. At the meeting, he called ballot initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington a “defiance of federal law,” but said they created an interesting “federalism experiment,” saying other states should watch how the federal government handles the states’ new laws.
He did not indicate whether he supports the states’ decisions, only that he respects their rights to experiment with federal marijuana laws. He repeatedly stated he would not focus on legalizing marijuana as governor, but would leave all options open in Virginia for the future. Tweet the news: Tweet
Cuccinelli has dealt with many cases of methamphetamine addiction as AG and said if the state had to prioritize funding to fight crime related to either meth or marijuana, the state should focus on meth-related crime costs.
According to a January poll from Christopher Newport University’s Wason Center for Public Policy, 53 percent of Virginians oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use, while 40 percent support legalization. However, 72 percent of Virginians support legalizing medical marijuana, while only 19 percent oppose it. Tweet stat: Tweet
Cuccinelli’s likely Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, currently leads him 46-41 in a new poll. McAuliffe has not mentioned marijuana legalization yet, and neither candidates’ website states their views on marijuana.