Pot, Schools, and the Massachusetts Presidential Primary [OPINION]
The Massachusetts presidential primary is on March 3, 2020 – less than 60 days away. The action is all on the Democratic Party ballot this year.
In 2016, Massachusetts had a few important ballot questions for the voters to decide on at the ballot box. These questions were on the November ballot then, but they offer a roadmap for predicting how some of the candidates will do in the presidential primary.
One question asked the voters to weigh in on legalizing the retail sale and use of recreational marijuana. The result of the ballot question was an overwhelming endorsement of the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Another question asked the voters to expand the number of charter schools in the state. The voters overwhelmingly rejected the expansion of charter schools after listening to both sides of the question in what was the most expensive ballot question in state history.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the most conservative candidate in the Democrat field when it comes to marijuana. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are both in favor of states' rights on the issue of marijuana. Depending on how the candidates play this issue, it could be a way to damage Biden and push him down at the ballot box.
The issue of charter schools could be negative for Michael Bloomberg in Massachusetts. He not only supported charter schools in New York City when he was mayor, but he has also made significant financial contributions to the political forces behind charters. He contributed nearly half a million dollars to the pro-charter school campaign during the 2016 ballot question fight in Massachusetts.
Both Sanders and Warren were vocal opponents of the expansion of charter schools during the Massachusetts election of 2016. The Massachusetts teachers were also a major force in that election and they aren't likely to forget who was with them and who was against them. The voters of Boston, New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton all rejected charter school expansion.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.