Last week President Trump was asked about cannabis laws by the White House Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Steve Nelson. For many in the cannabis community, Trump’s remarks were encouraging, if not exactly new.
Responding to Nelson’s question about studies that show marijuana is helping things like opioid abuse and whether there would be any movement federally on the issue, Trump said, “We’re going to see what’s going on, it’s a very big subject and right now we’re allowing states to make that decision.” Trump would go on to use variations of the phrase “let states make that decision” two more times in the brief exchange.
Although this is not the first time Trump has expressed support for states’ rights when it comes to cannabis, it’s good to see he still feels that way at least, considering how volatile our 45th President can be.
It’s unlikely that Trump will ever become a full-fledged cannabis law reform supporter, but we really don’t need him to be. We simply need him to be someone who will not stand in the way of those who do support it.
Sure, I suppose if Trump thought cannabis was an issue he could beat over the heads of Democrats or use to stick it to China, he might be more vocal in favor. But barring those scenarios, we aren’t even likely to get as much as a tweet.
Considering the Obama DOJ crackdown on medical marijuana was a mere eight years ago, it may be too much to ask that we have a full-throated advocate in the White House. Maybe the next President will be that. For now, we need a President who will sign pro-cannabis legislation if it reaches his desk, and it looks like that might be the case with Trump.
As I’ve often said, we don’t need fanfare or a big bill signing ceremony or even real acknowledgement; just sign the bill and move on with the day. We can take care of the fanfare.
There are a lot of issues swirling with a Presidential election coming next year in the U.S. Many of those issues will take priority over marijuana laws, so sometimes it will be a struggle to keep cannabis law reform in the minds of voters. Multiple statewide ballot measures will help with that, as will the massive online cannabis community.
And if Congress can get a marijuana-related bill to the President’s desk, hopefully he remembers what he said about letting states decide.