If the Democrats cannot figure out their strategy for dominating the upcoming election, there is a fair chance that we could see President Trump weaseling his way back into the White House for a second term. And while some cannabis advocates would be pleased as punch with this turn of events others believe that any other candidate, and we do mean any, would be better for the sanity of the United States.
But ask toking Trumpsters why it is that they have grown so keen on reelecting the Donald and they’ll tell you, “He’s the only president so far that has said he would legalize marijuana at the federal level.” Ah, yes, we remember the comment. It was just two years ago, ahead of the G-7 summit in Canada, when Trump told reporters that he would “probably” support a long since dead cannabis bill known as the STATES Act. Since then, Trump supporters have believed that “their president” sides with them with respect to legalizing marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Well, not so fast, maverick.
Just weeks after a secret tape surfaced, revealing that Trump seriously thinks that marijuana is leading to the dumbing down of America, a new interview with his Director of Strategic Communications, Marc Lotter, shows that Trump doesn’t support the legalization of marijuana at the national level. Earlier this week, Lotter told Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV that President Trump is still dedicated to keeping the prohibition standard in this country.
“I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level. I know many states have taken a different path,” Lotter said. “I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — of a parent of a young person — to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs. They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”
But, Trump said he would…
Yeah, yeah, we know what he said. You see, the confusion over whether Trump is pro-pot or not really stems from statements made during his 2016 campaign. That’s when he professed to the nation that marijuana legalization should be allowed to move forward as a state’s rights issue. Trump never came out and said that the old U.S. of A needs to be legalizing some weed. It wasn’t until 2018 that he made comments about supporting the STATES Act, which was not precisely designed to legalize the leaf at the federal level, but to — yep, you guessed it — strengthen the cause in terms of state’s rights. The bill, which is deader than a doornail at this point, simply aimed to actually give states the freedom to legalize however they see fit without federal interference. It was one of those toe-in-the-water bills that Congress likes to noodle with on occasion. Many journalists wrote that the passing of such a measure would have effectively legalized weed nationwide, but that wasn’t exactly true. There would have been no major changes to the Controlled Substances Act, and marijuana would have remained illegal at the federal level.
So, yeah, Trump said he might support that two years ago. It was no skin off his back. After all, most law-abiding cannabis operations in the 40 odd states that have them are being left alone, anyway.
But ahead of the 2020 campaign, political analysts predicted that President Trump might come out in favor of marijuana legalization as a way to stay competitive with all of the Democrats that have done the same. All except for Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg support bringing down pot prohibition once and for all. Hell, even Congressional Democrats suspected that Trump would eventually get behind legal weed to get reelected. If we look back a ways, Representative Earl Blumenauer of Oregon wrote in his 2018 “Blueprint to Legalize Marijuana in the 116th Congress” that “if we fail to act swiftly, I fear as the 2020 election approaches, Donald Trump will claim credit for our work in an effort to shore up support — especially from young voters.”
Welp, it seems like everyone was wrong.
Listen, I’m going to be honest with you folks, this situation with Trump creates even more trouble for legal weed. Right now, the Democrats are trying to develop a plan that would allow them to regain control of the Senate, as well as the presidency. But if they had to choose one, they are really frothing at the mouth over the possibility of laying claims to the upper chamber. It’s the reason that some predict Democrat Bernie Sanders — a candidate that has sworn to legalize marijuana nationwide on his first day in office — will fail to get the nomination again this year. Some are worried that his socialist ideals will turn off suburban America and cause an uprising in Republicans to make noise at the polls.
In a perfect, pot-friendly world, we would see the Democrats taking both the Senate and the presidency in 2020. This scenario would allow the most potential for marijuana legalization to strike nationwide in 2021. But if Democrats lose the Senate and win the presidency, legal weed could still be six or more years away. Then again, if they win the Senate and President Trump gets reelected, marijuana is probably still going to be delayed for another four years. No matter what marijuana-related measure a Democratic-controlled Congress pushes through, Trump is not likely to support it. Really, the only chance we have at seeing full-blown legalization soon is if voters decide by November that they would rather support the path of the Dems rather than Republicans.
Right now, however, the country is split. Around 28% of the nation identifies as Democrat, 28% Republican and 41% independent.
TELL US, do you think America will ever legalize marijuana nationwide?