Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) says that the Trump Administration has made a “solid commitment” to fix federal marijuana laws in order to respect states’ rights after next month’s election.
In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Rohrabacher said that he had been talking with people inside the White House about ending marijuana prohibition, and says he’s been “reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise” to protect state marijuana laws from federal interference.
“I would expect after the election we will sit down and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real,” he said. “It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session”.
It’s been almost 6 months since President Donald Trump took office, but despite a lot of fear, it’s had little to no impact on marijuana laws throughout the country.
When Donald Trump won the election for president of the United States, many in the marijuana community were worried what it might mean for state-level marijuana laws. But for many others, there was a sense of quiet optimism. After all, Trump has said before that he’s “100%” in favor of medical marijuana, and that he supports state rights. Although it was many years ago, he’s previously stated his support for legalizing all drugs.
However, it wasn’t long before fear, rightfully so, began to increase. Trump began making subtle, but certainly worrisome comments, and he hired longtime prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to be the nation’s attorney general. Despite this, nothing much has came of this fear, and there’s reason to believe it will stay this way.
President Donald Trump has signed into law a spending bill that protects state medical marijuana laws.
The omnibus spending bill signed into law today by President Trump includes a provision that prevents the Department of Justice – which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – from arresting or prosecuting patients, caregivers, and businesses that are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws. The bill is effective through the end of September, meaning lawmakers will need to pass a new measure before the end of the year to keep the protections in place.
The protections stem from an amendment originally sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), which was first approved by the House in May 2014. It was approved again by a larger margin in June 2015, then included in the continuing appropriations packages that have funded the federal government since October 2016. Although many cannabis advocates feared that Trump’s Administration would work to remove the medical marijuana protections, they instead have embraced it.
A key Trump official says that marijuana isn’t a factor in the drug war.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana is “not a factor” in a meeting with NBC’s Meet the Press. Kelly also said that solving the nation’s drug issues doesn’t involve “arresting a lot of users.”
The comment came during a discuss regarding the flow of drugs to United States from Central America and Mexico; Chuck Todd asked Kelly if legalizing marijuana would hurt this.
Since early last month outlets such as Politico and the Huffington Post have ran stories indicating that Hillary Clinton may again run for president in 2020. If Trump attacks legal marijuana, this is far more likely – as is her victory.
During the campaign Clinton made the mistake of failing to embrace legalizing marijuana. Clinton did state her support for state’s rights, but so did Trump. Given that, many if not most of Trump’s supporters expect him to leave legal marijuana states alone – some even think he may legalize it himself, given past comments he’s made in support of legalizing all drugs.
If Trump would have said on the campaign trail we would see “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana laws, as his press secretary recently stated, there’s no denying it would have hurt him in the election; at the very least some of the Bernie supporters who voted for him would have otherwise stayed home. And if we do see greater enforcement, there’s no doubt he will lose a large amount of support (or at least excitement) heading into 2020.
According to a recent Quinnipiac University Poll, 71% of U.S. voters, including a majority of Republicans, want the feds to respect state marijuana laws. Trump not respecting this would be greatly detrimental to his reelection chances.
Recent media reports indicate that President Donald Trump is considering New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as the next U.S. Drug Czar. Here’s why that doesn’t really matter.
According to reports, Donald Trump recently had lunch with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and is potentially considering him to become the nation’s Drug Czar, which is the informal title given to the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Given Christie’s undeniable history of opposing drug and cannabis law reform – even for medical use – the cannabis community quickly went into a bit of a panic at this possibility. However, this panic is relatively unfounded, given that the position would be essentially the same regardless of who took the role.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t see the federal government getting involved in marijuana.
According to Capital Public Radio, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Attorney General Sessions met last week to discuss several issues; one of them just happened to be marijuana.
“Regarding the prioritization of federal resources to combat marijuana; he didn’t see the federal government getting involved in marijuana use or low-level state, what are traditionally state and local crimes”, said Sheriff Jones following the meeting. “[B]ut, I don’t think he ruled out the possibility of the federal government getting involved in larger-scale operations”; Jones says these operations would include trafficking by drug cartels, not necessarily cannabis businesses that are legal under state law.
U.S. President Donald Trump fired the federal government’s top lawyer Sally Yates on Monday after she took the extraordinarily rare step of defying the White House and saying the Justice Department would not defend his new travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.
The White House said on Twitter that Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, would replace Yates, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, as acting U.S. attorney general.
Yates on Monday told Justice Department lawyers in a letter that they would not defend in court Trump’s directive that put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran; Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and also Yemen.
Yates said she did not believe defending the order would be; “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”
Trump has argued tougher vetting of immigrants is needed to protect America from terror attacks but critics complain that his order unfairly singles out Muslims and defiles America’s historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.
Yates was days away from being replaced by Trump’s pick for the top spot at the Justice Department; Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who is awaiting Senate confirmation.
The White House dismissed her comments as rhetoric and said Trump acted within his presidential powers.
“I think that’s a further demonstration of how politicized our legal system has become;” said Stephen Miller, a policy adviser to Trump, in an interview on MSNBC.
There have been only a handful of instances in U.S. history of top Justice Department officials publicly breaking with the White House. The most famous example was in 1973; then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned rather than obey President Richard Nixon’s order to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.
(Additional reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Doina Chiacu, Arshad Mohammed, Susan Heavey, Mark Hosenball and also Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Jonathan Allen in New York, Brian Snyder in Boston; and also Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Writing by Roberta Rampton and also Alistair Bell; Editing by Bernadette Baum and also Bill Rigby)