The current administration’s stance on cannabis is a source of concern for those of us who’ve benefited from legalization. While Trump declared the matter to be one of states’ rights during his campaign, he’s been mum on the issue since taking office. And his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has stated bluntly that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and declared a crackdown on the 29 states with legalized medical cannabis.
While those of us with vested interests in the industry wait on tenterhooks to see what, if any, action the administration will take, a dark horse in the person of Trump advisor Roger Stone is riding into battle – on our side of the issue.
Roger Stone is a conundrum. His political hero is Richard Nixon and, not unlike Nixon, Stone seems to favor political expediency over moral convictions. While Nixon was the man behind the “war on drugs,” Stone has taken a different tack. “It’s been an expensive, ignominious, racist failure,” Stone said of the drug war. “It’s not working. Drug abuse has to be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal justice issue.”
And now Stone has created the United States Cannabis Coalition (USCC), a bipartisan political action committee “dedicated to influencing federal level decision makers so they honor states’ rights and state mandated marijuana laws as well as reform our antiquated and failed federal drug laws.”
USCC has several missions. First among them is to persuade Trump to “keep his pledge to protect state legalized cannabis.” It also aims to urge lawmakers to remove cannabis from its current Schedule 1 classification and to encourage federal funding for research into the medical benefits of cannabis.
Those are all noble goals, but can we trust a man with a tattoo of disgraced President Nixon on his back? We may not have a choice. He’s got a big platform and a loud voice with which to speak to his friend, the President. Let’s just hope the Donald listens.