PORTLAND, Maine — The Trump administration’s anti-marijuana transfer has some members of the president’s voting base fuming.
Fans of President Donald Trump who use marijuana say Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ transfer to tighten federal oversight of the drug is the primary time they’ve felt let down by the person they helped elect. The transfer feels particularly punitive to Trump voters who work in the rising business round legalized marijuana that has taken root in states of all political stripes.
It stays to be seen whether or not Trump’s pot-loving voters will take their anger to the poll field in 2018 and 2020. But pro-legalization conservatives are additionally chiding the administration’s anti-pot transfer as an affront to non-public liberties and states’ rights.
“Trump needs to realize that a lot of his supporters are pro-cannabis and it would be extremely hurtful to them if he allowed Sessions to move forward with this,” stated Damara Kelso, a Trump voter who runs Sugar Shack Farms, a marijuana grower in Eugene, Oregon. “It’s not lazy pothead stoners smoking weed all day in their parents’ basement.”
Sessions’ transfer permits federal prosecutors to determine what to do when state guidelines battle with federal. It comes as legalization of marijuana is at an all-time excessive in reputation with Republicans.
A Gallup ballot from final yr discovered 51 % of Republicans expressed help for legalization of the drug. It was the primary time a majority of GOP supporters supported the thought and represented a bounce of 9 proportion factors from the earlier yr. In the early 2000s, solely about one in 5 Republicans agreed with legalization.
Legalization has additionally flourished on the state degree. Maine, Nevada, Massachusetts and California all voted to make leisure marijuana use authorized for adults in 2016. It can also be authorized in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Washington, D.C. Alaska and Maine gave Trump electoral votes in 2016.
Marijuana legalization is usually hottest with the libertarian-leaning wing of the Republican Party. But any such Republicans who felt Trump can be a pro-marijuana president have been misguided, stated Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard University economist who research the economics of libertarianism with a concentrate on unlawful medicine.
Weed-loving Trump fans is perhaps experiencing purchaser’s regret, however it’s too early to say whether or not that would make a distinction on the polls, Miron stated.
“Libertarians certainly knew when he appointed Jeff Sessions that there was a serious risk in an escalation of the war on drugs,” he stated. “I think you get what you pay for.”
Still, some of Trump’s high-profile supporters are criticizing the transfer.
Roger Stone, a former Trump marketing campaign adviser with whom the president has an extended and rocky historical past, shared a video on Facebook on Jan. 7 urging Trump to help legalization and block Sessions’ transfer. And some Republicans in Congress have additionally slammed the choice.
“We have a Constitution to protect people from the federal government,” Republican Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minnesota, a Trump voter, stated in an interview. “This is a longstanding limited-government principle.”
Trump fans who use medical marijuana are additionally involved they might lose entry to remedy. In rural Fryeburg, Maine, school scholar Zac Mercauto drives two hours roundtrip, he stated, to purchase marijuana to handle persistent ache and different well being issues. He stated he would hate to lose that capability to federal politics.
Mercauto can also be one of hundreds of Mainers who helped give Trump his sole New England electoral vote. Unlike most states, Maine splits its electoral votes by congressional district, and Trump gained the huge 2nd District, residence to each New England conservatism and a marijuana tradition.
Mercauto, who had his image taken with Trump in 2016, stated he’s nonetheless an enormous fan of the president. But he believes the anti-pot transfer is dangerous for his state’s financial system and well being.
“I believe it’s going to take a hit at medical marijuana and the industry as a whole here in Maine,” he stated. “It’s disappointing to see him take that stab at the industry. And I guarantee you all the tax money the state of Maine from medical marijuana really helps people all around.”