A long-time friend and ally of Donald Trump’s has formed the United States Cannabis Coalition, which exists for the purpose of lobbying the Trump administration to recognize the medical validity and potential of cannabis. Roger Stone wants the 45th President of the United States to keep his campaign promise that he would leave the issue of marijuana legalization up to the states.
This president’s administration is causing intense concern for proponents of the cannabis industry, for a number of reasons:
Uncertainty about the president’s stance
Trump’s opinions have remained, so far, rather unclear on the subject. Last year he stated that Colorado’s decision to legalize cannabis was a “bad” pot law that “caused some big problems” for the state. What those “big problems” are, we aren’t sure, and this writer isn’t entirely convinced that even Trump could identify what they are.
According to Stone, who addressed the issue with Trump fifteen to twenty years ago, he had been in favor of ending the war on drugs long before he became a presidential hopeful.
Anti-cannabis members of his administration
Particularly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions poses a substantial risk to cannabis legalization. The anti-marijuana minion of this president’s administration is incredibly outspoken about the wickedness of the plant, and has claimed in the recent past that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He has also asked for permission to go after the pot industry in states that have legalized it, seemingly intent on reviving the failed war on drugs.
Even though Stone claims to be good friends with Trump, he has no reservations about going after the administration to protect states’ rights to make these decisions for themselves. “Obviously, I would use any legal means at my disposal to reverse course if Sessions is planning a crackdown,” he stated of the controversial Attorney General.
Stone intends to deliver a speech on Friday at a New York cannabis convention. Over the course of this speech he will outline the purposes of the newly-formed United States Cannabis Coalition, which was only formally created on Tuesday. He has already stated that he is happy to work with any advocates who agree with him on the subject, having stated on Tuesday that “I’ll work with anybody — Democrat, liberal, Green Party, libertarian — if we agree on this issue.”
Stone’s move is an unexpected one for many republican party supporters who don’t take so kindly to criticism aimed at the current president. He is a long-time republican himself, and has even worked alongside Nixon, who he called “his mentor.” What sets him apart so distinctly from the rest of his republican brethren is his remarkably progressive stance on drug reform. Many members of his party just want to throw more and more people in jail, increase penalties for cannabis possession and turn back the clock on legalization in the 30 states that have brought legal pot to the people in some capacity. He wants drug abuse to be treated as a public health issue, rather than a criminal one.
He calls the war on drugs an “expensive, ignominious, racist failure.”