Will Trump Reverse Marijuana Legalization?
If you’re anything like us, you’re a little freaked out by what’s happened in such a short time in Donald Trump’s presidency.
In case you haven’t heard, here are some of the changes he’s made so far in his presidency:
- Affordable Care Act .
Mr. Trump has allowed all agency heads to waive requirements of the Affordable Care Act to the “maximum extent permitted by law.”
To explain briefly – that means any benefits you had for your health insurance are pretty much donezo if the insurance agency wishes. He has not provided any alternative plan for this, by the way.
- Organizations That Provide Abortion Services.
President Trump has ordered that federal dollars cannot go to organizations that provide abortion services. Even if they do other nice things for people like breast exams, STD testing, family planning services, and well-woman check ups.
- Trans-Pacific Partnership Withdrawal.
This withdraws the United States from all Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and from signing the trade deal. There’s a lot to this deal and it’s pretty confusing, but to be brief – the TPP was set up in the hopes that we would be able to have better trade relations with Asia in the future (especially China). Forget about that, I guess.
- Federal hiring freeze.
The president has told agencies they cannot fill any vacant positions nor open new ones, with two exceptions: military personnel and critical public safety positions. More jobs? Not if you wanted to work for the federal government.
5 + 6. Allowing Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.
We are still awaiting details on the language and scope of this action, but President Trump told reporters his actions today make construction of the controversial pipelines easier.
So the question begs to basked, What will Trump do to Marijuana?
So nothing has been done (yet) with the illegalization of marijuana, but Trump has made some comments that suggest he thinks drug use is a criminal act and should stay that way.
Trump has repeatedly made claims that "drugs are pouring over our southern border" and we need to "build a wall" to put a stop to it, whether or not these claims are pertaining to marijuana or other drugs is difficult to say.
A few important notes:
Chuck Rosenburg was the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency under Obama, and so far remains in his position in the new Trump administration. This is probably not a good sign, as Rosenburg has claimed that medical marijuana is "a joke".
Jeff Sessions has been appointed Attorney General, another worrisome reality. According to Forbes, Sessions was "heartbroken" when then-President Obama said that cannabis is not as dangerous as alcohol, and also quoted "Good people don't smoke marijuana" in a senate hearing.
Donald Trump Public Quotes on Marijuana Legalization
Just as many other topics, Trump has flip-flopped on this one a number of times in the past few years. Here are a few different things he’s said regarding marijuana use:
1990 - Legalize drugs
Trump argued in 1990 that the only way to win the War on Drugs was to legalize drugs and use the tax revenue to fund drug education programs. As he put it, "You have to take the profit away from these drug czars." In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he stated that he'd never tried drugs "of any kind."
October 2015 – State's Rights
"I say it's bad," he told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in June, in response to a question about Colorado's legal weed. "Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think [recreational marijuana] it's bad. And I feel strongly about that." But what about states' rights? "If they vote for it, they vote for it. But they've got a lot of problems going on right now, in Colorado. Some big problems. But I think medical marijuana, 100 percent."
What we think will happen
The fight probably won't get any easier at the federal level. However, with Trump busy building walls and removing universal healthcare it is likely that states will retain their rights to choose their own marijuana laws.
Over the next few years we suspect additional states will vote for medicinal and recreational use while federal funding is heavily geared toward shutting down untaxed imports and transactions.