MPP is pleased to announce the release of our annual list of the “Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers” in the United States!
President Barack Obama is at the top of the list, followed by several 2016 presidential candidates. At least eight (and as many as 17) of the 23 major-party presidential hopefuls have said or strongly indicated that they have consumed marijuana: Jeb Bush, Lincoln Chafee, Ted Cruz, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, and Rick Santorum.
Nine others do not appear to have said whether they have consumed marijuana, and they did not respond to inquiries from MPP: Joe Biden, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and Jim Webb. Only six candidates have said they never used marijuana: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker.
The list is intended to identify individuals who have used marijuana and achieved high levels of success or influence. It was created using the same criteria employed by Out Magazine to produce its "Power 50” list of LGBT Americans, such as “power to influence cultural and social attitudes, political clout, individual wealth, and a person’s media profile.” To qualify for MPP’s list, individuals must (1) be alive, (2) be a U.S. citizen, and (3) have consumed marijuana at least once in their life according to either their own account or that of a legitimate source. They do not need to currently consume marijuana or support marijuana policy reform.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed into law a bill, A.B. 726, which exempts a very limited class of individuals from criminal penalties for the use and possession of cannabidiol (a component of marijuana) “in a form without a psychoactive effect.” While this is an improvement to current law, it leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients without legal protections for using and possessing the medicine their doctors think is best for them.
The law allows individuals with seizure disorders to possess non-psychoactive cannabidiol if they have their physician’s written approval. However, it doesn’t give patients a realistic way to obtain their medicine in Wisconsin.
Individuals with the written documentation would have to travel to one of the few medical marijuana states that allow non-residents to obtain cannabis from their dispensaries. They would then have to bring cannabidiol back to Wisconsin, possibly crossing through other states where it is illegal. With all these limitations, this law may be unworkable even for the limited population it’s meant to help. For more information, please see our summary of the law.
Wisconsin took a small step forward this year, but the law is so incomplete that MPP will not be counting it as a “medical marijuana state.”