After almost two years of twists and turns, the Trump administration virtually appears to take pleasure in sending combined alerts when it comes to marijuana coverage.
During the 2016 presidential marketing campaign, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated marijuana legalization ought to be a “state-by-state” difficulty. Candidate Trump spoke pointedly of his views on medicinal hashish and a state’s proper to legalize marijuana throughout an October 29, 2015, marketing campaign rally in Sparks, Nevada.
“I do like it, you know, from a medical standpoint – it does do pretty good things. But from the other standpoint, I think that it should be up to the states,” Trump stated to a really pumped-on-Making-America-Great-Again crowd. Fact-checking website PolitiFact verified Trump’s assertion as true Feb. 28, 2017.
But after the 2016 election, President Trump’s “state-by-state” dedication waned. Trump, as soon as in workplace, remained mum on the difficulty as Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole memorandum in early January 2018, and Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas (no relation to Jeff Sessions) successfully killed items of laws that may assist American veterans entry medicinal hashish, and authorized medical marijuana states shield themselves from federal interference all year long.
Then, in April 2018, Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado stated that Trump provided his endorsement for Gardner’s bipartisan invoice to shield the marijuana business in states which have legalized hashish.
At greatest, President Trump’s place on hashish coverage has been nonexistent; at worst, it’s up for grabs.
Enter the ‘Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee’
Now it seems that some within the White House try to weaponize damaging statistics related to marijuana legalization in an try to thwart public help for hashish legalization and to additional a prohibitionist agenda, in accordance to a breakthrough Aug. 30, 2018, BuzzFeed News report.
“The prevailing marijuana narrative in the U.S. is partial, one-sided, and inaccurate,” famous a documented abstract of a July 27, 2018, White House assembly. A follow-up memo requested division officers to present “the most significant data demonstrating negative trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends.”
The administration’s anti-weed group, dubbed the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee in White House emails and memos, includes the Drug Enforcement Administration and 14 federal businesses, in accordance to the BuzzFeed News report. The committee’s final activity is to compile as a lot info that counters the success of states which have legalized marijuana and gaslights the general public’s help of hashish to temporary President Trump “on marijuana threats.”
So, who might probably have devoted large assets and tasked the group with ferreting out and publicizing any darkish, nefarious information with regards to authorized hashish? The standard suspects — Jeff Sessions, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director James Carroll — come to thoughts, however regardless, the committee appears intent on using the report to sway Trump’s apparently malleable angle in the direction of hashish coverage.
Making coverage appears to be a matter of timing within the Trump administration. As Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman argued, Trump follows a sample and the dance goes like this: President Trump makes an uninformed assertion on a problem, a educated individual in his orbit corrects him on the matter and explains the substance behind a problem, and Trump doesn’t actually care and flops his place.
So, if you’d like to flip the president’s opinion, you merely want to come ready — and be the final one that speaks with him.
‘Resistance’ within the Trump Administration
In a New York Times op-ed revealed Sept. 5, 2018, an individual the newspaper attested is a senior official within the Trump administration disclosed that a secretive and clandestine “resistance” is operating roughshod over Trump’s coverage.
“I work for the president, but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the nameless writer wrote.
This smooth, democracy-as-a-plaything model of coup d’état raises one main concern for the present administration and the marijuana group: Who’s truly fanning the flames of marijuana misinformation and making an attempt to affect federal hashish coverage?
In this political whodunit, odds are that Sessions might be not the writer of the op-ed or half of the present resistance operating amok within the White House. That stated, the beleaguered lawyer basic does have allies in excessive locations inside the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who’ve up to now been directed to goal particular actions in authorized marijuana states, as Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California had warned in a press launch concerning the company’s actions in Washington state.
While who penned the the op-ed is just recognized to a choose few within the newspaper, or who summoned the administration’s new anti-weed committee is unclear, one factor’s for sure – they’ve an unpopular agenda, as a Pew Research Center survey in January 2018 discovered that about six in Americans favor marijuana legalization.
But, as a result of Trump is Trump, this committee and its report — if profitable in bending the president’s ear — might affect future federal hashish coverage.