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John Kasich Says During GOP Debate That Marijuana Legalization Sends “Mixed Signals” To Kids


CNBC hosted the latest Republican debate on the campus of University of Colorado-Boulder on Wednesday night, giving the top-tier GOP candidates an opportunity to square off in prime time. However for the marijuana reform advocates who may have tuned in hoping to hear some discussion about cannabis, there wasn’t much news made.

Even though the debate was held in one of the first states to legalize marijuana, and even though the debate lasted over two hours, only one marijuana related question was asked.

Ohio Governor John Kasich was asked by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla about whether he supported marijuana legalization in his state, to which Kasich responded that he didn’t support legalization because he thinks it sends “mixed signals” to kids about drugs.

Watch the exchange courtesy of CNBC below:

News flash Governor Kasich: We are already sending mixed signals to kids by prohibiting the use of a plant that is objectively safer than legal drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals. If you are worried about protecting kids from marijuana, then you should be supporting the regulation of marijuana. Drug dealers don’t check ID. Prohibition has failed. Regulation works.


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Johnny Green


  1. Don’t worry, I read it! But I STILL don’t understand how they could retroactively make that pertain to something else that was passed by the people, on the SAME ballot?

    That baffles me. Are they considering the limited amount of grow centers a “monopoly”?

  2. What’s the language in Prop. #2 that makes you have to vote AGAINST it, even if Prop #3 passes?

  3. Does Kasich’s comment include American Kids with Dravet’s Syndrome — who die without it?

  4. saynotohypocrisy on

    “What else have they been lied to about?”

    Yes, If society wants to have credibility, over hard drugs in particular, they need to stop lying about cannabis. But folks like Kasich and Cuomo and many more are still lying their heads off about weed.

    Keep rubbing their fascist noses in it about alcohol vs. cannabis. That’s what the media needs to focus on the most, that’s where the heart of the insanity lies.

  5. I’m from Ohio and Mr. Kasich and AG Dewine got the#2 on the ballot before the ink was dry for #3!!! Vote everyone don’t let them win!!!

  6. Yes, those drugs cause many deaths too; however, there is a difference in how people perceive each of them. Prescription opiates are ostensibly prescribed in order to relieve pain (the efficacy and extensive use of them are debatable) and tobacco is generally maligned by the populace. With alcohol, society has an extremely cavalier attitude toward it. Look no further than the many holidays where people have an excuse to drink; the social settings where people drink (not for taste like the prohibitionists like to claim); the sports events where it is served; the many advertisements peddling the poison; or on TV where it is funny to drink to excess. When it comes to cannabis, however, the prohibitionist parasites develop this contrived paternalism and use the State as an instrument for their bigotry, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness to impinge on free adults’ liberty. It is truly despicable.

  7. Mixed signals is when teens discover that cannabis is safer than alcohol and yet people go to prison and lose their jobs over it… Then, they ponder that if the government has lied to them about this, what else have they been lied to about? The next step is obvious disillusionment with government and a natural shift toward questioning arbitrary authority.

  8. i hope one day this changes for all americans. unlike alcohol cannabis has never been a problem in the wirk place. employers us it as a tool to fire employees and not pay their venefits.

  9. what kasich, dewine are saying is that they support a criminal empire thst does not pay taxes. the choice is clear buying legal cannabis from tax paying business or buy weed from the black market that supports a criminal empire. GO VOTE YES ON 3, NO ON 2.

  10. Sending “mixed signals” to kids? Well, I guess I’m guilty. I refuse to lie to my 13 year old, so even though I cannot use MJ because of my job, I inform my child how this plant has been proven to help with many diseases and how our government has lied and withheld this evidence from us for years because it’s more profitable to have people suffer and imprison them. It’s the government who is sending mixed signals to my child because I tell him to tell the truth and they teach him to lie. I teach my child to question authority, not bow down to it. Do I want him using MJ at his age? Absolutely not, unless for a legitimate medical reason. But, I don’t think lying is the best means to accomplish this.

  11. Hypocrites
    and Fraud, that is what the Republican Party stands for like Nixon
    and Reagan. The Republicans cannot accept the Truth that cannabis is
    medicine. To let the US Govt regulate and tax cannabis like alcohol
    and tobacco is totally wrong when all they do is lie, control and
    manipulate a substance that does not harm anyone. If you can grow
    your own,, then F**K the corrupt US Govt on rewarding them for all
    the harm and injustice they created. I believe in the plant and all
    the good in it, to be told against it is like saying God made a
    mistake. Schedule 1 drug and criminal is the biggest con perpetrated in the
    planet so why we should respect and obey an unjust law? Legalize it
    but it should be free to all who truly believe in nature.

  12. What sort of message are you sending when the kids see Authority figures blatantly lying to them? The “message to the kids” rhetoric is Red Herring. After alcohol prohibition was repealed, it became harder to get a drink because the industry was now being operated by legitimate business people who abided with the laws and regs.
    If they really cared for the children they’d legalize and regulate marijuana. If they really wanted to keep any substance out of the hands of “The Children” they first must take control of distribution away from black market dealers. They haven’t accomplished that in 40+ years at a taxpayers cost in the hundreds of billions. It’s time to treat marijuana as we do alcohol. My 30 year old still gets “carded ” when buying alcohol, yet your 13 year old can buy anything the black market dealer has, for a price, whether it be money or “something else”. FACT: Your kids have a better chance dying at the hands of someone enforcing marijuana laws than they do from ingesting it. (ZERO %).

  13. Huckabee uttered a truism: Diabetes, Alzheimers, Cancer, and Heart Disease WILL break the bank, especially if we don’t get hip real quick to just how much MMJ, as both dietary supplement and medicine, can contribute to attenuating the death & suffering of these scourges.

    Pretending otherwise, dodging the question needs to cost these pretenders, big time.

  14. fair enough…and I agree..and to my point, Kasich should have been the last person asked…they should have asked someone who actually stands a chance of getting the nomination..Kasich is not that candidate…at least there are more debates…and the campaign managers of all of these candidate better wise up…having a don’t ask, don’t tell approach to a topic with 58%+ approval rating is, to use your phrase..PISS POOR politics…

  15. But lieing to kids and the nation is ok. Kasich, what does these prohibition based lies do to kids.? I have heard of kids calling police on parents just because of Marijuana, no other issues. Sometimes the kids are taken away for nothing but Marijuana use. That is a true mixed messages.

  16. Kasich isn’t going anywhere! He’s got plenty of money to get him through at LEAST South Carolina!

    I doubt their was a consensus for him falling on his sword. Reason being is, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz have all come out in favor of “State’s rights” on the issue. So I doubt that they all conspired to give the question to Kasich.

    It was actually PISS POOR timing on the part of the Producer of the debate or the Moderators, by knowing the time constraints they were under, yet throwing that issue out there anyway!

    That issue DESERVED more than 20 seconds of time! Especially in Colorado! Chris Christie should’ve been asked the question. Not Kasich! Christie was the one that said to Coloradans “enjoy it while you can. January 2017 he will enforce the law and STOP”… what the citizens of Colorado passed!

    It’s Christie who wants to STOP an industry that’s created OVER $100 Million in tax revenue to these State’s in 1 year. I think Christie should’ve been asked the question? That’s the moderators fault!

  17. I’d like to put forth a hypothesis:

    I think Kasich is close to quitting or knows he’s not gonna get the nomination so he fell on the sword for the RNC…I think the front runners made a deal with him and the RNC head brokered the deal with CNBC for him to get asked the cannabis question. I bet money he will quit the race and end up in a cabinet position for cooperating in this little cannabis ruse…

    Kasich made a deal with the other candidates to give a canned blah blah answer and then roll into a filibuster like diatribe again about what he did in OHIO..thus completely glossing over the cannabis question, knowing they would not re-ask it after the break due to time concerns…

    It was all planned to kill the cannabis question so none of the others would have to answer it…

  18. saynotohypocrisy on

    Sure as hell seems like it. And the deaths from tobacco and prescription opiates as well. And those from prohibition related violence too.

  19. The children of parents who smoke or imbibe tobacco and alcohol respectively are, I’m my experience, usually prone to becoming troubled children and sufferers of second hand smoke. Again, in my experience, the children of a parent or parents who smoke marijuana, whether recreational, sacramental and/or for medicinal relief are better adjusted and better loved.
    The Governor’s statements are an example of how myth and propaganda perpetuate false claims of the dangers of this inherently non-toxic free growing weed. Also, the governor is kissing the ring of the tobacco and alcohol cartels for their donations, thus he is both naive and corrupt in his message.
    It is time to be boldly honest about who is controlling the false mythology and propaganda related to the use of marijuana. Ugly people populate our current political environment and offices. It is time to return OUR government to the PEOPLE while battling those who are knowingly or unknowingly perpetuating these myths and propaganda for very selfish and ugly gain. The voting public is being trampled by these mega-cartels as they slowly destroy the intent and mandates of OUR Constitution and Bill of Rights. If WE THE PEOPLE sit back and foolishly ignore this fact OUR government will cease to exist if it has not already.
    Let’s be sure to insist that while marijuana prohibition exists we should most definitely prohibit the sale and use of tobacco and alcohol!

  20. you know who won this debate last night? Bernie Sanders…and he wasn’t even there…he is the only one recently that has spoken up and made a bold, pointed statement about this subject that 58% or more of the American public are in favor of…

    Last night was a disappointment and disgrace to the political system…seriously CNBC…there is an issue that has 58% or more approval and is a hot button issue and you allow someone like Kasich to gloss over the question, he shouldn’t have even been who the question was directed too first,regardless!! Then you don’t come back after the break and re-ask the question or a better one to some of the other relevant candidates that actually stand a chance of getting the nomination..just shameful moderating!! Especially when it’s more than evident you were making every attempt to ask gotcha questions and pit the candidates against each other…what a golden subject to pin them down on and make then either admit support or come off looking terrible, but instead you allowed Kasich to completely disarm the question.boo!!

    This will be the issue that loses the presidency for the republicans…and what’s sad is..I don’t think they even know it….it just shows me that all of their campaign managers are either really that stupid or willfully ignoring it, which will bite every one of them in the ass come election day

  21. Let me start by saying that I DESPISE John Kasich! He really grates on my nerves! I would NOT support him under ANY circumstances. However, CNBC’s moderators played a HUGE role in the way that question came off! THEY really screwed the American people out of information that’s important to them!

    Just some insight on that. That was really intended to be a “GOTCHA” question from the moderator. They were trying to get him “on the record” about this issue. Since his STATE, votes on legalized marijuana next week, iirc!

    First of all, the moderator asked a shitty question! He gave him an OUT to the question, by prefacing the question with the statement… “with State’s running massive budget deficits, many are looking at legalizing marijuana…”.

    That’s why they FRAMED the question to him, by asking him “is that a revenue stream YOU’D want… (for your State)”?

    Well, Kasich whole mantra has been that his State “ISN’T running a budget deficit. We have a 5 Trillion surplus”.

    On top of the POOR timing of the question! (45 seconds before a hard commercial break) The moderator, then allowed him to filibuster the question. Going to a commercial, then NEVER revisiting that question to anyone else! Being in CO, I think the American people WANTED to hear, candidates stance on this issue!

  22. It’s rank hypocrisy and scum like kasich are repugnant. The thousands of deaths from poisonous alcohol are fine to parasitic filth like him.

  23. saynotohypocrisy on

    Judging from Kasich’s response, he doesn’t believe alcohol or tobacco are drugs. The war on science rolls on, with undiminished fervor.

  24. David Yoseph Schreiber on

    Kasich does not seem to care about the availability of cigarettes to minors.

    This is the law in Ohio “It is illegal for a minor to use, consume, possess, accept, receive, purchase or attempt to purchase Restricted Products, except when accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or spouse who is 18 or older. . . . Violators may be required to attend a youth smoking education program and/or receive a $100.00 fine. . . .

    Fine/Penalty Schedule for Selling to Minors: Violators will be charged with a 4th degree misdemeanor and fined $250.00 and/ or up to 30 days imprisonment for the first offense, and charged with a 3rd degree misdemeanor and fined up to $500.00 and/or 60 days imprisonment for second and subsequent offenses.”

    Statistics concerning enforcement are difficult to find. Most sources say there is little or none. However a 1998 report mentions the following, “In Ohio alone, 12.6 million packs of cigarettes are sold to minors each year, yielding $21.6 million in sales for retailers,” said Don McClure, Executive Vice-President of the American Cancer Society, Ohio Division and Chairperson of the Tobacco-Free Ohio Steering Committee.

  25. saynotohypocrisy on

    On alcohol vs cannabis, there is nothing mixed about the message folks like Kasich want us to send. They want us to send a clear signal that alcohol is safer than cannabis, if children are going to do a drug, folks like Kasich want it to be alcohol, Either they have deliberately made themselves ignorant, or they are lying their head off and know perfectly well that alcohol use is far, far, far more likely to cause catastrophe than cannabis use, in children and adults, but they just don’t care.
    They want cannabis users to give up their rights “for the sake of the children” (not that prohibition actually protects children, quite the opposite), but their right to use alcohol (and guns) is precious and can barely be regulated. That’s not America, in the real America, that hasn’t been born yet, we all have equal rights, and politicians can’t get away with such pathetic lies.

  26. What a disappointment that marijuana laws were only highlighted in the debate for a few seconds. By sidestepping the question, Kasich effectively said that he is in favor of ruining lives with draconian laws, to continue locking people up for using cannabis. I mistakenly liked this Kasich guy before, but now its is evident that all marijuana activists should do what they can to discredit Kasich as being the common sense alternative, because obviously, he is not.

    The only other reference to marijuana in the debate came in the form of a Colorado marijuana brownie joke. Other than that the candidates were purposely mum on the subject, and ever the news agencies seem to want to keep the topic muted.

  27. Whats confusing is alcohol is legal and very dangerous but cannabis is the exact opposite case

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