Every day there are news stories about marijuana legalization, the marijuana business and financial analysis, medical marijuana/CBD studies, etc. However, there is almost no discussion of marijuana prohibition, which remains the policy of the U.S. government and the Trump administration.

As CannaLawBlog.com reported, “During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump asserted that, as president, he would allow states to choose whether to legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government.

“After his election, however, Trump’s position completely reversed. In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, an Obama-era policy of not interfering with states who have legalized marijuana. Trump’s press secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, then implied that there would be a crackdown on legalization states. Sessions, however, did not specifically order law enforcement to direct more resources toward enforcing marijuana laws.”

On December 21 of last year, Tom Angel reported in Forbes, “President Trump said in effect that he reserves the right to ignore a congressionally approved provision that seeks to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference.”


Last month, Justin Strekal, the Political Director for NORML, reported in The Hill:

“Most recently, Marc Lotter, the director of strategic communications for Trump’s 2020 campaign, stated in an interview that the administration is intent on keeping marijuana illegal under federal law. ‘I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent of a young person to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,’ he said. ‘They need to be kept illegal, that is the federal policy. I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level, I know many states have taken a different path.’”

Now consider the real world politics:

On November 11 of last year, a survey by the respected Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel concluded: “Two-thirds of Americans support marijuana legalization.”

In fact, only 8 percent of the American people are in favor of current U.S. marijuana prohibition, banning both medical and non-medical cannabis. Meanwhile in the “real world,” there were 663,367 marijuana arrests in the U.S. in 2018, and most were for simple possession. And those numbers are still largely unreported.

How is this possible? Actually, the politicians — and other so-called “opinion leaders,” especially newspaper “Editorial Page” editors, have consistently lagged the public they supposedly lead, but they simply don’t report the basic facts about how marijuana prohibition really works.

Who will tell President Trump that his marijuana policies are still being set by Jeff Sessions and the editorial pages he denounces, supported a massive flow of “Fake News” by utterly irresponsible and incompetent “journalists,” and by the most deeply entrenched bureaucrats, the deepest of the Deep State in the U.S. and the rest of the world (with very few exceptions).

In fact, the best two-word explanation for marijuana prohibition is still “Bad Journalism”… in the same newspapers that sedulously keep track of Trump’s lies.

And then there’s Joe Biden, an old line Drug Warrior, who recently said that marijuana is a “gateway drug,” but quickly retreated. He has the advantage because he has to listen. Trump doesn’t.

In fact, Biden’s biggest electoral problem may depend on getting the “Bernie Bros” – Sanders’ disappointed leftist supporters – out to vote in November. Sanders has been criticized for being out of touch with the American people, but on the marijuana issue, he was the only candidate to call for an immediate end to marijuana prohibition, which, as noted,  is the view of a substantial majority.

So, who is going to tell Uncle Joe? If we don’t, who will? And will he listen? And if he doesn’t, will Trump?


Richard Cowan is a former National Director of NORML and Founder of CBDSeniors.com

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.

LA Weekly