Can Trump Just Get a Bong?
A lot has happened in the last 12 hours. A sitting U.S President has met with the Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea aka North Korea. This historic meeting not only demonstrates a shift in world politics, but it may indicate that we have a president that is looking to tackle controversial and complicated issues. If the latter is true, then maybe we might see the end of cannabis prohibition on the federal level in the United States.
As you may have heard last week, President Trump said he likely will support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, a major step that would reshape the pot industry and end the threat of a Justice Department crackdown. We should strive to correct the misfortunes of history and look forward to future opportunities that a cannabis industry could provide. We know the path in which the War on Drugs directed society, it does not create economic, social or sound public policy.
One of the lead sponsors is Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who is aligned with Trump on several issues but recently pushed back on the administration over the Justice Department’s threats to restart prosecutions in states that have legalized marijuana. “I support Sen. Gardner,” Trump said when asked about the bill. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.” The legislative proposal, which is also championed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), would reshape the legal landscape for marijuana if it becomes law.
Trump’s support could potentially have a major impact, providing political cover for Republicans who wish to save face and are concerned about viewed as soft on drugs. However, the proposed bill would require action and support throughout congress. While the effort to end prohibition is finally gaining the rightful attention it deserves, can we see the plant being legalized this Presidential term? Only time will tell. We still need continued efforts to communicate to our legislators in Washington DC, if we want to see true dedication in the Capitol.
So what is being proposed?
According to Gardner’s office, the measure is intended “to ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders. The bill also extends these protections to Washington, D.C, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes, and contains common-sense guardrails to ensure that states, territories and tribes regulating marijuana do so safely.”
The Senate proposal, and a companion bipartisan measure in the House, would amend the Controlled Substances Act so that its marijuana provisions do not apply to any person or business that is in compliance with state laws. To put bankers at ease, it specifies that such marijuana sales would not be considered trafficking and do not amount to illegal financial transactions.
According to Warren, “The laws on the books make it harder for veterans to get treatment for chronic pain. They keep children with chronic diseases in agony and they make life miserable for individuals struggling with terminal diseases.”
“This is a chance for us to express that federalism works,” said Gardner, who like some other Republicans was not a proponent of marijuana but took up the cause after his state’s voters endorsed legalization, “to take an idea that states have led with and provide a solution that allows them to continue to lead.”
The question still remains… will President Trump do more than talk. Will he garner support to push cannabis reform though the halls of congress?