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Trump Deal Could Signal Twilight Hours of War on Marijuana

Trump Deal Marijuana Federal Policy Cory Gardner Cannabis Now
Photo Gage Skidmore

Politics

Trump Deal Could Signal Twilight Hours of War on Marijuana

An announcement of a Trump deal on marijuana, made on Friday by a Senator from Colorado, marks a potential watershed moment for federal cannabis policy.

On Friday, the American public may have truly seen cannabis prohibition enter its twilight hours.

One of the loudest pro-cannabis voices in the Republican Party, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, announced that he made a deal with the White House that would bring final closure to the continuing conflicts between state and federal marijuana law now present in most of the nation.

Gardner has been blocking all Department of Justice nominees since January, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an order to federal prosecutors around the country dismissing the Cole Memo. The purpose of the Cole Memo had been to focus all DOJ resources on actual criminals and not people and companies in full compliance with state cannabis law. The DOJ called the rebuffing of the Obama administration policy a return to the rule of law.

When Sessions issued his statement against the Cole Memo in January, Gardner immediately announced that he would block all DOJ nominees until he received a commitment that Colorado’s right to regulate and dispense cannabis to adults over the age of 21 would not be stomped on by the longtime drug war hawk now running the DOJ.

However, following positive discussions with President Donald Trump, Gardner announced this week that he is lifting some of his holds on DOJ nominees.

He is not lifting them all however — that’ll come, he says, when the federal government puts tangible guidelines in his hands to really get the ball moving.

Gardner praised the administration in a Friday statement announcing the deal with Trump.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” said Gardner. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry. Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all.”

Gardner went on to note he and his colleagues in Congress are working diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can “pass Congress and head to the President’s desk to deliver on his campaign position.”

The nation’s leading cannabis organizations now can see a major part of their endgame in sight, despite the work left to be done at the state level and at the federal level, pending whatever Congress comes up with on their own.

“Sen. Gardner has done a great service for his constituents by standing up for federalism regarding marijuana policy,” said Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Everyone who knew about President Trump’s statements on this issue during the campaign were hoping he would uphold those values and support states’ abilities to enact laws regulating marijuana for medical or adult use while in office. This news should make states more comfortable implementing their legalization programs. It should also serve as a rallying cry for lawmakers to pass comprehensive legislation that leaves marijuana policy to the states permanently.”

MPP also noted the spending restrictions that prevent federal interference in state medical marijuana programs were renewed by Congress in March. However, there are no such protections for states that have regulated marijuana for adult use. MPP is under the impression Trump’s reported statements suggest that the same policy will apply to both medical and adult-use providers, but the Dept. of Justice could still legally pursue cases against state-legal adult use operations if federal prosecutors choose to do so.

“With the support of the President, the American public and mounting evidence that regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol is much preferable to prohibition, there is no reason for Congress to delay any longer,” continued Murphy. “There are several pieces of marijuana policy legislation being considered right now, and every one of them should get hearings immediately.”

The nation’s oldest marijuana reform organization, NORML, was also excited about the possibilities to come.

“We applaud this commitment from President Trump, who promised during his campaign to take a federalist approach with regard to marijuana policy,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “That campaign promise was not reflected by Trump’s appointment of longtime marijuana prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to the position of Attorney General or any of the actions that Sessions has taken since becoming the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”

Altieri put pressure on Congress to take the next steps in all this as soon as possible.

“With the President now reiterating this commitment, it is time for Congress to do its part and swiftly move forward bipartisan legislation that explicitly provides states with the authority and autonomy to set their own marijuana policies absent the fear of federal incursion. Doing so would not only follow through one of Trump’s campaign promises, but it would codify the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans,” said Altieri.

TELL US, do you think a Trump deal on cannabis will end federal marijuana prohibition?

20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Joe

    April 20, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Once it is legal. What are you going to do NORMAL?

  2. Mike

    April 20, 2018 at 11:44 am

    It’s time, I’m not getting any younger…

  3. Colton Crain

    April 19, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    If this actually happens and the currently tentative states (in which i reside) at least medicalize i will be ecstatic. As someone whos been prescribed pills most of his life marijuana is the best medicine i ever had.

  4. Benita L Paxton

    April 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    I love all the unput….I being a CBDer & I believe this is the best medicine I could have gotten my hands on…CBD is legal in all 50 states. President Trump would be dining a justice for all Americans if he follows through.
    It is for an individual’s own choice. I also believe if Marihuana was schedule 1, than Cannabis (hemp) is totally in another class.
    Not a scheduled….LEGALIZE IT! & make it the people’s choice. GOD BLESS AMERICA. ✌

  5. BB

    April 16, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Let us loose from these chains!

    • Adam J Porterfield

      April 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      Once legalized..the crime activity falls.. Then we target big dope dealers an trafficking.. How many our scared just because they smoked a little bit of marijuana.. This should be our focus.. Extortion a crime all them families on welfare… Taking of advantage on america.. Human Resourse.. I think jeff vakasy in his friends got a rude awaking. O i plan to testify…

  6. Jamie Pearson

    April 16, 2018 at 2:36 am

    Well done Cannabis Now. Appreciate your reliably good, thorough coverage of any important issue.
    I applaud Senator Gardner but will wait and see. Trump is a guy who says what he needs to – “give him a show of support (all talk btw) and I’ll get my DOJ nominee through.” Is this real? How Do we know he won’t flip flop like he has done on everything else. Trump’s not trustworthy. So I’ll wait and hope he proves me wring.

  7. Lisa

    April 16, 2018 at 1:33 am

    It will not end the prohibition on marijuana until President Trump fires Sessions. He will go after all he can!

  8. Sherrie

    April 16, 2018 at 12:52 am

    If Trump makes it completely legal, I’ll change my mind about him!!! Someone needs to end the war against this life saving plant!!

    • Rico Camacho

      April 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      I will too.. I CAN’T believe I just said that.

      • Steven Green

        April 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        It’s probably because Trump is a businessman and he sees $$ in this….

  9. Lawrence Goodwin

    April 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    If this is finally moving forward, the best way to proceed is for the U.S. Congress to fully repeal its fraudulent Schedule I classification of “marihuana” in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). No new laws are needed. Just erase that damned word from any and all related, existing federal laws. The CSA was signed by President Richard Nixon on Oct. 27, 1970, and by now mountains of evidence prove that “marihuana” never belonged there. The Congress can simply establish a brand new regulatory regime and transfer all legal authority to a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Cannabis, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Start that effort tomorrow, sirs, since such legislative action is already decades overdue.

  10. Roget morgan

    April 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Marijuana will destroy America. Trump can be forgiven for not knowing the harms. But he will never be forgiven for not taking the to learn

    • Lawrence Goodwin

      April 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      Trolls like you are willfully dividing Americans, wasting precious time and refusing to admit the most obvious facts. Here’s one that may make your head explode: cannabis plants were perfectly legal to grow in America for 150 years before the federal/state/local anti-“marihuana” tyranny was instituted (the actual legal spelling of a Mexican Spanish slang word). We, the People, are literally overturning that federal sham ourselves and going back to our agricultural roots with cannabis. Neither you nor anyone can be forgiven for prolonging the anti-“marihuana” madness even one more day.

    • Ormond Otvos

      April 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      Perfect example of Russian troll bots: interject a stupid but believable comment designed to polarize opinions.

    • Bud Gardner

      April 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm

      Seriously? Ha! Please elaborate….on your “stance”.

      • Nik

        April 25, 2018 at 7:27 am

        Lol, why did you put “stance” in quotes and to whom are you responding?

  11. Wendi Baugher

    April 15, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    This is the one thing Trump needs to get right.

  12. KEVIN MC NEIL

    April 15, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    Dill dill

  13. Tommy Albarado

    April 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Legalize it already!!!

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