Can Trump ‘Trump’ Marijuana?
Personally, I hate talking about Trump. However, today we have to do so since Trump did say some pretty ‘aggressive’ things about cannabis and the cannabis industry.
This right after Congress essentially tied up Jeff Sessions’ hands in relation to prosecuting legal medical marijuana businesses in states that have legalized it. This comes under a rider that was introduced and signed by Trump known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. Meaning, it is the law right now.
What does the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment imply?
While there are a few bills circulating the political arena that would grant full legalization of cannabis, it isn’t likely that it will pass any time soon. Thus, Congress-people use budgetary bills to slip in pro-cannabis policy as is the case of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment.
Essentially, this rider means that the DOJ and the DEA are barred from using federal funds to prosecute medical marijuana businesses in places that legalized it. In other words, federal laws against marijuana is still on the books, the DOJ just can’t use any money to enforce them.
As you can imagine, the cannabis industry touted this as a great victory, until Trump had to release a signing statement that read;
“I will treat this provision [the R-F Amendment] consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,”
While this doesn’t mean he’s outright saying, “I’m going to ignore this”, it does leave wiggle room for him to do so if he chooses. After all, he is right in everything he said.
The only problem is that the President of the US doesn’t have power of the Federal Purse, that is the responsibility of Congress. So even if he goes full on “drug warrior” on legal cannabis, he still would have to take it to a Federal court and win. This seems to be a difficult task since the 9th district court upheld the validity of the rider.
Can Trump still push back?
Of course he can, however the question that we should be asking is, “will he?” Trump has a lot on his plate and to tackle cannabis, which is the fastest growing political issue in the US, going against the will of the people is ill-advised.
You see, for the last three presidential elections, cannabis has outdone all the candidates in terms of popularity. There are 28 states and the District of Columbia that have legal cannabis systems in place. The industry is generating billions of dollars each year and creating thousands of new jobs.
Can you imagine what would happen if Trump were to piss off the cannabis industry as a whole? You’d have nearly half of the entire population in the US rising up against it.
People are sick and tired of the war on drugs and for Trump to re-ignite it would be a massive political mistake. I would even argue that it could get him removed from the Presidency seeing that millions of people rely on it now.
Not only is legal cannabis reducing the spending on Medicaid, it’s helping curb an opioid epidemic as well as generating new income for states that have legalized.
Cannabis is a Subject that Embarks a lot!
You have to understand that cannabis isn’t about smoking weed only. It’s about healthcare, job creation, reduction of stress on the justice system, new revenue streams, human rights, discrimination against minorities and so much more.
The government wants you to believe that this subject is just about weed, however we all know that cannabis has intricately placed itself in the middle of many social issues. Even if you don’t smoke marijuana, it still affects you whether it’s legal or not.
Thus, cannabis is a very difficult topic to simply “uproot”, especially since we have already witnessed a failed attempt at prohibiting the substance. People now have the insight to see that the current approach of the government isn’t working.
Hell, in states that have legalized, teens aren’t consuming more. Traffic fatalities are dropping. Overdoses on Opioids are dropping. We’re seeing way more benefits than any potential risk that was sold to us over the years.
Then comes the medical aspect of cannabis. People getting treated with the plant from Seizure Disorders, cancer, IBS, autoimmune disorders, pain management, psychological issues and much more. If you assault cannabis, you assault all of these people and we know that within any great cause, martyrs are usually the elements that sway public opinion in favor of the cause.
So Trump goes and takes away medicine from a baby with 300 seizures a week, you can rest assured that that scenario is a political nightmare. You know how they say taking candy from a baby is bad…well, taking lifesaving medicine from infants is way worse.
Trump will not do anything
I don’t think Trump will be dumb enough to tackle the cannabis industry. We have grown significantly over the past few years and nowadays cannabis is no longer a fringe topic. It’s starting to get center stage and the people of the World have spoken; We want it all and we want it now!