Francis Suarez, a Republican presidential candidate, has recently voiced his opinion that federal authorities need to “catch up” on marijuana policy. This statement comes despite his mixed track record on the issue during his tenure as the mayor of Miami. Suarez’s comments were made during an interview with “The Young Turks,” a progressive online news show.
He emphasized that the federal government should not be “behind the eight ball” when it comes to marijuana legislation, suggesting that it needs to keep pace with the rapidly changing societal and legal landscape surrounding cannabis. However, Suarez’s stance on marijuana has been somewhat inconsistent over the years.
As Miami’s mayor, he vetoed a city commission resolution in 2021 that aimed to prevent the police from arresting people for possession of small amounts of marijuana. This move was seen as a step backward by marijuana advocates, who argue that such policies disproportionately affect marginalized communities. On the other hand, Suarez has also shown support for the medical use of marijuana. He was in favor of a 2016 Florida amendment that expanded access to medical marijuana, demonstrating a more progressive stance on this aspect of the issue. The mixed record of Suarez on marijuana policy reflects the broader complexities and contradictions within the Republican party. While some members advocate for full legalization, others remain staunchly opposed.
This divergence of views within the party mirrors the ongoing national debate on marijuana legalization. As the 2024 presidential race approaches, Suarez’s stance on marijuana could become a significant factor. With public opinion increasingly favoring legalization, candidates’ positions on this issue could play a pivotal role in shaping the electoral landscape.