Has the Trump administration secretly organized a committee of federal agencies to "combat public support for marijuana"? That's what Buzzfeed reported on August 29, in an article detailing White House memos and emails instructing fourteen federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana to the new Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee.
Among other things, one memo states, "departments should provide…the most significant data demonstrating negative trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends." According to an unclassified summary, committee notes are not to be distributed externally and require a close hold. But as soon as the story leaked out, political leaders started commenting.
So did our readers. Says Ronnie:
If only marijuana had a p*ssy, if only!
If anything, Trump is a businessman at heart. If he truly wanted to put pressure on the cannabis industry, he would have surely done it by now, especially with Sessions as his AG. He sees the dollar signs in cannabis and I would not at all be surprised that, provided he gets re-elected in 2020, there will be a new AG and cannabis will get declassified so that it can become regulated and the government can get their greedy little paws on all that cash.
We're in too deep now. Sessions will never get his day.
Trump will sign a bill to legalize it in time for the next presidential election.
Marijuana legalization is one of the most bipartisan opinions we still have. The majority of Republicans are pro-medical marijuana legalization and almost half of them are pro-recreational marijuana legalization; 47 percent was the last number I saw. And Democrats and moderates are strongly in favor of legalization, like 60 percent+.
Trump knows that he and the Republicans are running too low on popularity with the moderates in order to make that kind of decision. A lot of people only half paying attention who are on the fence about him would jump off that fence to the side against him if they came after legal pot. Not to mention how difficult it would be. They could cut off federal funds from Colorado, for instance, and the state would likely get more money from pot taxes than what the feds would give them, anyway. Pandora's box is wiiiide open; it would be terribly difficult to shut it. I almost hope the Republicans try, though, 'cause it would be midterm suicide.
Keep reading for more of our coverage and links to earlier stories.
"Michael Bennet 'Deeply Concerned' About White House Anti-Pot Committee"
In a joint response to Westword's request for comment about the BuzzFeed report, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division and Governor John Hickenlooper's Office say they weren't aware of any new White House committee, but add that Colorado will "continue to proactively engage with our federal partners."
And they note that legalized marijuana hasn't created a nightmare for the state, pointing to law enforcement grant programs funded by pot-industry revenue that crack down on gray- and black-market marijuana operations.
"Our worst fears have not materialized. That said, we prioritize keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and criminal enterprises, preventing public health consequences associated with marijuana use, and preventing diversion to the illicit market," their response reads. "As we continue to track the impact of legalized medical and adult-use marijuana, we will prioritize resources in a manner that works to prevent and mitigate any unintended consequences."
What do you think of the BuzzFeed report? Trump's take on marijuana? Post a comment or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.