President Donald Trump will take a “ruthless” approach to people who violate the nation’s drug laws.
Last week, Trump told law enforcement officials from all over the country that his administration intends to get tougher through the War on Drugs than ever before. During a meeting with the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the president told those in attendance that his projected $21.6 billion wall along the U.S. / Mexico border and the tenacity of Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly would be all it would take the stop the drug cartels.
“It’s time to stop the drugs from pouring into our country. And, by the way, we will do that,” Trump said. “And I will say this: General, now Secretary, Kelly will be the man to do it, and we will give him a wall. And it will be a real wall. And a lot of things will happen very positively for your cities, your states, believe me.”
President Trump then went on to inform the room that his plans to ramp up the drug war were already in progress.
“The wall is getting designed right now,” Trump added. “A lot of people say, oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall. I wasn’t kidding. I don’t kid. I don’t kid… I don’t kid about things like that, I can tell you. No, we will have a wall. It will be a great wall, and it will do a lot of—will be a big help. Just ask Israel about walls. Do walls work? Just ask Israel. They work—if it’s properly done.”
So while many had hoped the new administration would take a more progressive approach to dealing with the illicit drug trade, it appears the U.S. is now on the verge of regressing to a time when hammer-fisted policies were king. Apparently, Trump is under the impression that he is capable of doing what no other president before him has been able to do since President Nixon declared a War on Drugs more than four decades ago.
Unfortunately, Trump’s new lease on the drug war may be devastating for the legal cannabis industry.
Last week, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions -- a man who remains staunchly opposed to the concept of legal marijuana -- was confirmed as the new Attorney General of the United States. There is now a great deal of concern that Sessions may soon cancel out the Obama Administration’s “hands off approach” to legal weed, which is outlined in the Cole Memo, and force any business engaged in the cultivation and sale of marijuana to close its doors.
For the most part, however, the cannabis industry does not seems too concerned about encountering the wrath of AG Sessions, mostly because they believe the industry generates too much money for the Trump Administration to even consider such action.
But policy experts say the cannabis industry couldn't be more wrong.
“Your industry is small by any metric of American capitalism,” said John Hudak of the Brookings Institution. “You are a speck of dust in a clutter of dirt of American capitalism… The president is planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If you think that hospitals, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry are small enough to be shaken down by the president, but the cannabis industry is too big to face the same challenge from the president, once again, you’re insane.”