With President Obama’s approval rankings taking a dip, and his head-to-head matchups with Mitt Romney looking awfully close, it may be time for him to break out another secret weapon: pot legalization. So says speculation, at least, drawing comparisons to the Bush campaign’s 2004 effort to put gay marriage bans on ballots as a way of motivating the right. Several states will have weed legalization measures on their ballots this fall, and the Democrats are hoping this will energize the youth.

This year there’s another incumbent president with modest approval ratings who could turn out his base with controversial ballot measures. … In 2012, voters in swing states will decide whether they’ll allow their fellow citizens to bear joints. Unlike the gay marriage votes, there’s no indication that Obama’s re-election team is behind any of the pot legalization initiatives, but there are Democrats who are hoping that it will boost turnout among weed’s biggest fans: young people.

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