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The First Shot of Trump’s War on Weed: Feds Ice Cannabis Cup

Cannabis Cup
Photo Gage Skidmore


The First Shot of Trump’s War on Weed: Feds Ice Cannabis Cup

Authorities are threatening to shut down the High Times Cannabis Cup in Las Vegas.

Media speculation about the DOJ’s approach to cannabis enforcement under President Donald Trump has degenerated into a cacophony of hypothetical best and worst-case scenarios.

But a sternly-worded letter from a U.S. Attorney to a Native American reservation scheduled to host a cannabis cup — the first declarative official statement on cannabis since Trump’s election — marks the opening salvo of a new war on weed.

Those attending the upcoming High Times Cannabis Cup in Nevada are sure to notice a single detail of singular importance missing from the festivities —  actual cannabis.

An exclusive report by the Reno Gazette-Journal revealed a stern letter of warning, sent by U.S. Attorney General Daniel Bogden to the Moapa Paiute Tribe, which is scheduled to host the cup on their tribal reservation just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the letter, Bogden informs the tribe that the DOJ is aware of its intentions to host the event and reminds them that cannabis is still illegal under federal law.

“I am informed that the tribal council is moving forward with the planned marijuana event referred to as the 2017 High Times Cannabis Cup because it is under the impression that the so-called ‘Cole Memorandum‘ and subsequent memoranda from the Department of Justice permit marijuana use, possession and distribution on tribal lands when the state law also permits it,” Bogden wrote. “Unfortunately, this is an incorrect interpretation of the Department’s position on this issue.”

Tribal Chairman, Darren Daboda, told the Gazette-Journal that the tribe is not attempting to promote illegal activity and that he believes they are within their rights.

“To us, we’re looking at it as utilizing our sovereignty… as long as [marijuana] is not visible, we’re told it will be OK,” Daboda said. “The tribe is promoting it as a vendors’ crafts, food and concert event. We’re not promoting the distributor or selling [marijuana].”

Cannabis-free Cannabis Cup

High Times has responded by sending a message to vendors and attendees telling them not to bring any cannabis to the cup.

“Federal authorities have intervened directly with our host venue, the land of the Moapa Band of Paiutes,” the message said. “Our upcoming Cannabis Cup event in Nevada on March 4-5 can proceed as planned, but vendors, guests, performers and attendees are advised to comply with all local, state, and federal laws regarding the use and distribution of cannabis and cannabis-related products.”

And if anybody was having difficulty remembering the federal stance on cannabis, Bogden’s letter is a stark reminder. In it, he gives a chilling assessment of the “Cole Memo” — the de facto arch-stone of the (relative) cannabis freedom enjoyed during Barack Obama’s second term — dismissing its perceived relevance to federal drug law and going so far as to literally underline marijuana’s contraband status.

“The memoranda are not laws or regulations, and they do not create any rights that may be relied upon by any person. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

It remains to be seen if federal law enforcement will be on hand to ensure compliance with cannabis laws, but there will be private security and tribal police providing security for the event. Even if the end result of this letter is an aggressive self-enforcement by event staff, there’s no dismissing the chilling effect this will have on future cannabis events.

And if Bogden’s interpretation represents the view of the DOJ under Trump, it’s fair to assume this is only the beginning of a dark chapter for cannabis freedom.

TELL US, will you be at the cup?



  1. Joseph Pendleton

    March 6, 2017 at 4:02 am

    So appointing sessions was shot one. Big raids in Colorado was shot two. Now this attack on the cup is shot there. Keep up folks. Trump fears failure. No one has won the war in weed. Trump will not engage a war he can’t win.

    • Purple Madness

      March 6, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      The feds raided Mack center is Vegas at an event last year, Nevada is not far along enough yet, Cali has Cannabis events every month and NEVER gets raided. Your fucking stooped to attend a Vegas Cannabis event until the smoke settles…

  2. Vigilantly smoker

    March 4, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    It doesn’t matter if cannabis is legal or not, the people of America enjoy their pot. Government will only awaken the beast “we the people” and trust me, people are starting to develope extreme hate for government trying to take away things people love. One day they will awaken us, And they will wish they didn’t.

  3. Thomas Higgins

    March 4, 2017 at 5:50 am

    What a pussy ass trump is. With all the states in the United States of America that are pissing on Federal authority and selling openly they choose to pick on and bully a sovereign Native American country for this?
    Marijuana legal states better step up and help fight this, especially Nevada. If not it will set precedence for coming after states.

  4. Rev. SciCo Sal

    March 3, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    MANY MANY MANY Americans have invested LEGALLY in the stock exchange, with the impressions that this new industry would fund their childrens future college, their personal retirements, etc, etc,
    THANK YOU TRUMP AND SESSIONS, for DESTROYING my future, my families future, and the hard work of many GOOD AMERICANS. With the drop of Narcotic addictins, I’m sure this is a THREAT to you and your stuffy old man pill popping generation who are heavily invested in ADDICTIVE drugs.
    “YOU GO GIRL”….now grab yourself by the pussy. -Rev. SciCo Sal

    • Colin

      March 4, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Not to downplay your point but I’m not aware of any publicly traded MMJ companies. At least ones directly involved. And the stock exchange is doing its best in years. Still this is obviously a tragic plan on the administration’s behalf.

  5. Chere

    March 3, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Trump is trying to fill his private prisons, with non-violent offenders. He is trying to make money off of anyone and everyone. He is pure evil. Marijuana is medicine, if anything should be listed as a schedule 1 drug, it should be alcohol ! #GreedKills

  6. Jhon

    March 2, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Stand up for your beliefs push back make them feel your opinion if they are deaf to your vote provoke their other sences. Stan Up Push Back!!!

  7. Randy Klein

    March 1, 2017 at 10:17 pm


    • Tuck Frump

      March 2, 2017 at 11:32 am

      It really doesn’t matter what the people want… More people voted for Hillary than Trump but who did we get? Fuck it.

      • bruce marsh

        July 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm

        The best man for the job is who we got. More people voted for Hillary unless you subtract illegal voters, which you don’t want to know about or let your state check and compare data bases to see what the numbers show. Privacy? Really? All the data bases are already public and subject to Freedom of Information Requests. The jobs report is good and getting better, which may explain why the stock market keeps hitting new all time highs. Illegal immigration is down, ISIS is actually on the run for real, and lastly, if Trump had campaigned for the popular vote, he would have won anyways. Hillary did not win because she is stupid.


      March 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      No but they sure can sell it off the shelf in store pharmacy and they are helping arctic with there heroin to whom who ever weed is a healing for me. I deal with cronic pain arthritis deteratioicon of spin and other metal block arthritis head trauma to deal with the pill I did take was not working I Ben smoking since I was ten I 44 so weed does help for me

    • Carl

      March 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      Unfortunately this issue is but one of many that Trump does not seem to understand. He lives in the past, as do the majority of his supporters.

  8. Jerome Almon

    March 1, 2017 at 6:58 pm


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