Certainly, it would not be a seamless process for the GOP to jump on the pot-reform bandwagon when polls suggest about 65 to 70 percent of Republicans, conservatives, and white evangelical voters oppose legalization. But the octogenarian Evangelical leader and daytime TV fixture Pat Robertson came out for legalization last year. His stance suggests the three stools of the Republican coalition might hold up just fine with a pot plank, which would fit with its states’ rights philosophy and was advocated by conservative economic godfather Milton Friedman.

“Republicans have an opportunity to use this as a signifier, particularly to the generation under the age of 40,” says Rick Wilson, a veteran Florida-based GOP media consultant. Which is to say that even if the party remains determined for the time being to avoid being branded “pro-pot”, a few up-and-comers making a move on legalization or decriminalization could be a fairly harmless way to improve their standing with younger voters…

“Rand Paul has had more impact on the Republican Party in three weeks than his father had in three presidential campaigns,” says Roger Stone, a former Nixon and Reagan operative and mischief-maker who is mulling a Libertarian gubernatorial run in Florida next year. His campaign would center in large part on the marijuana amendment, in hopes of attracting younger voters. (Stone has also come out for marriage equality and is known for his lists of the 10 best- and worst-dressed celebrities, though he might encounter difficulty explaining away the tattoo of Nixon on his back.)