March 9, 2020

Trump Names New Chief of Staff who Hates the Idea of Marijuana Legalization

March 9, 2020
Copy of NOVA White Background
President Donald Trump has named a cannabis prohibitionist for his new Chief of Staff.

While en route to his Palm Beach vacation home, Mar a Lago, Trump let the world know that he is replacing his chief of staff for the fourth time in three years.

As the Trump administration grapples with its chaotic and confusing response to coronavirus, the president tweeted on March 6 that Rep. Mark Meadows will be his new acting chief of staff.

Mark Meadows opposes marijuana legalization

Meadows, a conservative Republican Congressman from North Carolina, has consistently voted against legalizing marijuana and against all issues that would ease the industry toward a reasonable meeting of the minds. He recently opposed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019, which seeks to create protections for cannabis-related businesses and service providers to have access to banking institutions.

In addition to opposing the banking bill, in February Meadows joined a dozen Republican lawmakers who penned a letter thanking Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) for delaying the SAFE banking bill, which had already passed in the House of Representatives, with bipartisan support.

Nevertheless, “We remain opposed to liberalizing drug laws (including around banking), and we see these as some of our areas of greatest concern,” Meadows and his colleagues wrote in their letter to Crapo. “We must protect our youth by preventing investment into companies that would prey upon them.”

The Republican prohibitionist group went so far as to note in their letter that high concentrations of THC in cannabis are a “public health concern including IQ loss, increased risk of serious mental illness, and addiction, come from relatively low-potency marijuana (approximately 5-10%).”

Mark Meadows has a long prohibitionist record

It is also worth noting that Meadows’ anti-cannabis record goes back to his opposition of a 2015 amendment related specifically to CBD, which was seeking to protect children and families who have turned to accessing hemp-based medical cannabis – in legal MMJ states – to deal with seizures and epilepsy.

And, veterans can’t seem to catch a break. Meadows has shown no mercy for US military veterans either. He has regularly opposed amendments related to allowing vets’ access to medical cannabis as well as their right to seek advice from Veteran Administration (VA ) providers.

To add to the veterans’ obstacles, their VA medical providers were warned recently in a memo from their boss, VA Secretary, Robert Wilkie, that they had best stay away from the plant, even in states where it is legal.

“There is no legitimate medical explanation for a marijuana positive test result, other than a verified prescription of certain FDA-approved drugs,” reported the Military Times. “A prescription for medical marijuana is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test.”

Wilkie’s memo emphasizes that federal law characterizing marijuana as a controlled substance, still stands and that the VA is a “drug-free workplace.

What can you do?  Choose rational leaders to sit in the US congress and White House this coming November.

Remember the words of Marc Lotter, Strategic Communications director for Trump’s re-election campaign, when he told the press in Nevada recently that the administration’s position on marijuana is that it must be “kept illegal.”

Trump’s new chief of staff will gleefully carry out that task.


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