As with figuring out his stance on anything, it’s difficult to nail down exactly whether or not Donald Trump supports marijuana legalization. Not only are there a plethora of contradicting statements, but deciphering the context of his statements adds another layer to wade through.
With legalization becoming more of a bipartisan issue – especially after eight out of nine states passing new marijuana policies in November 2016 – and with Congress allowing medical marijuana to be prescribed to veterans, the likelihood of the president-elect dismantling the state laws already enacted seems incredibly unlikely.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) recently released their grade for every presidential candidate. Here’s what they had to say: MPP Grade: C+
Does Donald Trump Support Marijuana Legalization?
Where does he stand?
About a year ago, Trump softened his stance on marijuana legalization at rally in Nevada. “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump said to The Washington Post.
But Trump has made multiple stances before his speech in Nevada. He also more recently he has said he opposes legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use. He’s also stated that he supports legal access to medical marijuana, and he believes states should be able to set their own marijuana policies with regard to adult use.
What has he said?
“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state. … Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.” Washington Post, October 29, 2015
“I’d say [regulating marijuana] it;s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad and I feel strongly about that. [Moderator: “What about the states’ right aspect of it?”] If they vote for it, they vote for it… But I think, medical marijuana, 100%.” C-SPAN, June 23, 2015
In 1990, Trump said he favored legalizing all drugs, “We’re losing badly the War on Drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.” Miami Herald, April 14, 1990.
Overall, we can expect marijuana laws established by the states to remain in tact regardless of the outcome of the election. However, expansion of fight for legalization is really going to come down to each state ballot with initiatives for medical or full recreational access. As with the legalization of gay marriage, we see that if more and more states come into the fold, the fight for federal legalization will gain unstoppable momentum.