The director of Strategic Communications for Trump’s re-election campaign, Marc Lotter, just happened to be in Nevada as six democratic presidential hopefuls were about to take to stage in the 2020 Nevada debate.
Lotter fired off a list of dubious Trump accomplishments and one very categorical, if misguided, prediction: the administration’s drug policy, including its view of cannabis, is that they should all remain illegal.
“I think what the president is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent of a young person to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,” Lotter told Las Vegas’s CBS affiliate, 8 News NOW. “They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”
Does Trump support marijuana legalization?
While Trump has never openly supported marijuana legalization, in August 2019 he hinted that he had no objection to legalizing certain forms of marijuana and would leave those decisions to individual states.
But, then again, he also swore on the Bible that he would preserve, protect and defend the US Constitution.
Trump’s recent decision to go after medical cannabis in his proposed 2021 federal budget would end key protections for programs that function legally in 33 US states. Notably, this was Trump’s third consecutive budget proposal that promoted efforts to omit medical marijuana protections. Thankfully, they were stopped by the House of Representatives and later approved by the Senate.
Why is Trump talking marijuana in an election year?
As we know, a great deal of Trump’s financial backing comes from the corporate sector that tends to operate in the same camp as prohibitionists, such as big Pharma, big insurance companies and the religious right, to name a few.
Trump’s political appointees, God rest many of their sullied now unemployed souls, have been prohibitionists as well.
Let us not forget the unannounced and capricious 2018 rescinding of the Cole Amendment by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that upturned an Obama-era policy of not interfering with state-legal cannabis programs.
Then there was Trump’s recent praise for China’s “powerful death penalty for drug dealers,” which underscored Trump’s admiration for authoritarian strongmen and their heinous actions in other countries.
Ending the War on Cannabis
What’s to be done?
For starters, let’s all vote as if our lives depended on it, because they do for so many reasons.
In terms of cannabis and our meager yet advancing gains being scuttled by the current White House administration, it’s important to keep one’s eyes on Capitol Hill where we can pressure our congressional representatives.
The Drug Policy Alliance, one group among many, provides practical advice for ending the federal onslaught on marijuana.
“The war on marijuana is far from over – even in states where it’s legal. The only way forward is to change federal law,” says the nonprofit’s website, which outlines actions that can be taken.
NORML also provides a convenient way to petition our congressmen and women not to allow Trump to roll back medical marijuana protections and fight for legalization.
We’ve got our work cut out for us, so let’s get on it.