Let’s Make a Deal – Would You Agree to Full Cannabis Legalization if Trump Gets 4 More Years?
Interesting rumblings out of the White House press conferences recently as President Trump was asked if we will see marijuana legalization under his presidency. At a press briefing on the lawn of the White House, the president was asked by DC Examiner reporter Steven Nelson whether cannabis would be federally legalized while he was in office.
“We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision,” Trump said. “A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.”
We have covered a what-if scenario a few times at Cannabis.net that asked would you take cannabis legalization at the Federal level if there were no other conditions attached like community reparations for those areas hit hardest by the war on drugs, expunged arrest records, social and economic empowerment candidates and so forth. So, you could get full legalization or removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act, but it comes with nothing else, would you take the deal?
Now, with President Trump saying they are looking at the issue and “it’s a very big subject”, could we see a big cannabis move before November of 2020? Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, has similarly expressed support for pursuing a legislative fix for conflicting state and federal marijuana laws, testifying at a Senate hearing in April that he would prefer for Congress to pass something like Senator Corey Gardner’s cannabis bill instead of maintaining the murky status quo.
Would you accept a deal from God that said you will get full cannabis legalization, removal from the CSA, and medical marijuana cards valid in all 50 states regardless of recreational status of the plant in that state, but it means Donald Trump gets 4 more years as President?
What if Trump is trailing or in a tight race with a Democrat and he knows legalizing cannabis will get him favorable ratings while also taking away one of the Democrats talking points and promises to the public. Cannabis legalization support has never run higher on both sides of the isle as it does now with even over 54% of Republican voters in-favor of legalization. The path of least resistance for all is to pass the SAFE Banking Act, as you don’t have to be for or against marijuana, you just have to be for safer businesses, safer communities, higher tax revenue, and higher job growth. The Safe Banking Act allows even conservative Republicans to vote for financial reform of marijuana based on safety and tax issues, while still claiming to be anti-pot plant itself to your constituency.
As far as Donald Trump using some form of executive order or fast track mechanism to get weed legalized, most insiders say it is a long shot. His conservative base in the Rust Bowl and Appalachians are still anti-weed. Another problem is Mitch McConnell, the anti-pot but pro-hemp Senator from Kentucky oversees what the Senate gets to vote on, and he is no fan of legalized marijuana. He also is vehemently opposed to passing anything that is construed as a Democrat victory or issue, and legalized weed would fall under that category for him. Many cannabis bills may pass the House but lie dormant or in no-man’s-land in the Senate as McConnell will refuse to call the Bill forward or vote on it.
If President Trump legalized weed is some form or another at the Federal level, and it gave him enough swing voters or moderates who like seeing the stock market at 28,000 and their IRA’s going up each month, and he won re-election, would you accept that deal?
Of course, Trump supporters, regardless of cannabis views, would take a re-election. I am also saying vehement Trump haters would not take a re-election in any form of deal, but what about the moderates and the swing voters? What about those that like high stock markets and don’t like talk of democratic socialism, tearing down Wall Street and big tech companies, and making college and healthcare free for everyone? Would legalizing cannabis give Trump enough street credit with undecides who would say, “I don’t like him as a person, but I like what he has done with business, China, and cannabis. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t.”
Is cannabis legalization at the Federal level a big enough issue with swing voters and undecideds? One problem may be that most people who live in a legalized state and get their cannabis right down the street, aren’t overly concerned at a level 10 for legalized marijuana at the Federal level. Their lives are okay and they can get it, yes, they know it needs to be changed at the Federal level for everyone involved, but is it really a MAJOR voting issue if you can get all the cannabis you want in your own state?
Tough questions that voters will be thinking about as we get closer to November 2020.