Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, has confirmed previous reports that Jim O’Neil is being considered to lead the Food and Drug Administration.
O’Neil is not only a strong supporter of legalizing marijuana, he has actively worked towards it as a Board of Directors member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, which helped legalized cannabis in California.
According to Spicer, both O’Neil and biotech executive Balaji Srnivasan “are being considered” for head of the FDA.
Both O’Neil and Srnivasan have connections with billionaire Peter Thiel, who co-founded Paypal and was an early investor in Facebook. Thiel is a supporter of Donald Trump and also supports legalizing marijuana.
Having a supporter of legalizing marijuana (or simply one who doesn’t oppose it) leading the FDA would be huge for the cannabis reform movement. For years prohibitionists have brought up the fact that the FDA finds marijuana to have no medical value, something that could easily be changed with someone helming the administration who understands its medical capabilities.
Although Srnivasan’s opinion on marijuana are less known, a post he made on Twitter about a potential cigarette ban sheds a bit of insight into his opinion (Srnivasan has deleted all but one Tweet on his account; this post was found through a time-stamp website):
This time cigarettes. Many other times marijuana. Are they really willing to kill people – esp PoC – in the name of Prohibition? Appears so.