Donald Trump on Legalizing Marijuana: "Some Very Negative Reports Coming Out of Colorado"

During his town hall meeting in Wisconsin last night, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump covered a lot of ground with MSNBC's Chris Matthews — discussing immigration, the current campaign's lack of decorum, and then abortion...again, and again. But even with all those subjects on the table, he managed to get into Colorado's legalization of marijuana — in the middle of a question about prison reform. Here's MSNBC's transcript of that Trump exchange :

QUESTION: So my question for you is around prison reform. What do you see needs to be reformed with our prison system? And with that, what do you think about drug legalization playing into the reform?

TRUMP: I think that as far as drug legalization, we talk about marijuana, and in terms of medical, I think I am basically for that. I've heard some wonderful things in terms of medical. I'm watching Colorado very carefully to see what's happening out there. I'm getting some very negative reports, I'm getting some okay reports. But I'm getting some very negative reports coming out of Colorado as to what's happening, so we'll see what happens.

I think a lot of people are really looking at Colorado for prison reform. I think our — as you know, our prison system is a disaster, it's complete disaster all over the country. Almost everything we have, Chris, if you want to know the truth, is a disaster.



(inaudible) has done great.

TRUMP: If you take a look, our military has been depleted, our rights are not being taken care of. I mean, we have a lot of problems. Okay. But as far as...

MATTHEWS: Why does everybody want to come here if we're not great? Everybody in the world wants to come here, and everybody does better in this country than where they came from. Everybody.

TRUMP: Other people — other people have problems, too. By the way, with prisons...

MATTHEWS: I think we're better than that.

TRUMP: ... I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons. It seems to work a lot better.

MATTHEWS: What are the problems you've heard about Colorado? Because a lot of people wonder about who do you want smoking dope. I mean, do you want your train conductor, the bus driver, the airplane pilot? No. What do you want? Maybe the guy who teaches philosophy might be okay.


I mean — I mean, does anybody trust anybody that's high to do anything? I mean, I'm serious about this.

TRUMP: Well, I mean, I hear the same problem...

MATTHEWS: It's not — recreational drugs. What's that mean?

TRUMP: I hear the same problems. There's a — there's a lasting negative impact. I mean, you do too much of it...

MATTHEWS: The loss of ambition...

TRUMP: Yes. I mean, it's a loss...

MATTHEWS: ... that I think is there.

TRUMP: There's a loss of something. So that book has not been written yet, but it's going to be written pretty soon, and I'm not hearing very positive things.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun