Legalization in Trump’s America: Skating on Thin Ice
With an aggressive executive branch openly defying constitutional checks on its authority and installing noted prohibitionists in key positions, will the Trump administration make America raid again?
The cannabis industry’s general policy seems to be avoidance of “bad vibes” at all costs — even when that means ignoring the pounding vibrations of an oncoming freight train.
The first few weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have revealed an unprecedented disregard for the constitutional checks and balances on the executive branch. That doesn’t bode well for an industry already precariously balanced on a tenuous high-wire of precedents, amendments and memos.
The problem isn’t just that Trump and key members of his cabinet have spoken out against legalization and in favor of enforcing federal drug law in decriminalized states, although they have — there are multiple layers to the fear and loathing the cannabis is (or should be) feeling about the future.
By now, anybody with even a cursory interest in cannabis policy news has heard the oft-quoted quip from new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “Good people do not smoke marijuana.” This missive, though obviously inflammatory and false, is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new AG’s extreme prohibitionist stance on cannabis: as Alabama’s AG he pushed for legislation mandating death sentences for second-timed drug trafficking offenses — including cannabis.
It’s not even just that Trump rejected the rulings of four different federal judges who placed holds on deportations connected to his controversial “Muslim ban,” as disturbing as that is in its own right. It’s his administration’s justification, vis-a-vis spokesperson Kellyanne Conway, who attempted to undermine the authority of those judges by pointing out that they were “Obama appointees,” that should be giving the cannabis world pause.
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