I’m just as frightened about the thought of President Trump as any other global citizen that has a pulse and can read above a 5th grade comprehension level. In fact I’ve publically claimed if Donald Trump does become president, I would effectively move to a different country, much like I did at the start of George W. Bush’s second term.
Regardless of my inner struggle with accepting the impending reality of Trump as the 45th POTUS and The Running Man neo-cyberpunk society that will emerge, there’s one existential fact that remains. If you want marijuana legalized, Donald Trump is your best option this November.
Before your head ignites from sheer confusion, let’s look at the stance on marijuana within the current field of presidential candidates.
Sure he may be the Zodiac Killer, but his view on marijuana has changed significantly from 2014 when he criticized President Obama for not imprisoning marijuana users in Colorado.
Back then, Cruz sided with federal jurisdiction over cannabis instead of state legislation. However at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, he told FOX News’ Sean Hannity that ‘If the citizens of Colorado decide they want to go down that road, that’s their prerogative.’ Does that make him a flip-flopper, of course. Is Ted Cruz still the Zodiac Killer? Absolutely.
Not even CBS ‘The Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert could get Kasich to break from his mind-numbingly conservative stance on marijuana -- and that’s after Colbert guided the Ohio governor down a mental gauntlet of common sense facts.
Kasich has an affinity to entangle marijuana within the net of actual hard substances like heroin and crystal meth, thereby negating its medicinal properties. Not to mention the widely-held scientific belief that marijuana is about as harmful as a shot of wheat grass from Jamba Juice. When Issue 3, the constitutional amendment that would have legalized marijuana, was introduced in his home state, Kasich was one of the primary opponents against it. Aliens could land on Earth and proclaim bong hits hold the meaning of life and Kasich wouldn’t budge
Hillary’s effective stance on marijuana is to ‘wait and see,’ which is the political equivalent of trying to get a passing grade on a final exam by spelling ‘BAD’ on your Scantron as many times as possible. In a July 2014 CNN town hall hosted by Christiane Amanpour, Senator Clinton claimed she was ‘committing radical candor’ by addressing her stance on marijuana, which is to look at what transpires inside newly-legalized Colorado and Washington before developing an opinion.
Clinton believes that medical marijuana should be available, but only in ‘extreme conditions,’ which would rule out the current pseudo-medicinal use in states with existing legislation like California.
As far as her ‘wait and see’ approach to recreational marijuana, she was asked to clarify her stance at the 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas and Clinton explicitly stated she was not ready to take a position. That #WaitAndSee life.
If marijuana legalization was based purely on looks, Senator Sanders would have entered the 2016 presidential race with a championship belt strapped to his waist. Bernie has been supporting states’ right to locally regulate and legalize marijuana without government intervention since he co-sponsored the States Rights to Medical Marijuana Act in 2001. More recently, Sanders supported an initiative to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana along with his continued support of medical marijuana.
When asked in the 2015 Las Vegas CNN Democratic primary debate about a Nevada measure that would legalize recreational marijuana, Bernie Sanders said if he were a resident of the state he would vote in favor of the legislation.
Both Sanders and Clinton believe the ‘war on drugs’ needs immediate restructuring, however Sanders differs from Clinton in that he wants to allow incarcerated offenders access to drug treatment and reduce recidivism. Just after September 11th 2001, Sanders voted against an amendment that would have allowed a military task force to combat drug trafficking at the border. When it comes to randomize drug testing, Bernie voted against the Drug Demand Reduction Act, an amendment that would have forced federal employees to subject themselves to random drug testing. The Bern has been felt by lawmakers, and out of all the candidates previously mentioned, Sanders seems to have the most sensible drug policy that would lead towards full marijuana legalization.
If you want the candidate with the highest probability of ensuring marijuana will be legal across the country, Donald Trump is your best option.
I know for many of you this news might be rather hard to digest. Granted Trump has never held political office, however his pro-marijuana stance surpasses that of any other candidate in the field.
In 1990, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has Donald Trump on record claiming US drug enforcement is ‘a joke’ and all drugs should be legalized to ‘take the profit away from these drug czars.’ According to Trump, tax revenues from a legalized drug trade will be used to educate the public on the dangers of drugs.
It’s no surprise that Trump’s isolationist tactics of building a wall that divides Mexico and the US along with banning all Muslims from entering the country has spilled over to international drug trade. While Trump may not be the most detailed oriented candidate, he redundantly insists that our jobs are being taken away by China and Mexico -- including the esteemed title of ‘drug czar’.
Under President Trump, if drug lords are to be created, they better be made in the USA -- and how can you blame him? Our drug dealers have been outsourced to other countries for far too long. If America hopes to create the next Walter White, we must locally foster and create drug lords and keep them within our borders.
Trump also stated we're losing badly the war on drugs, and you have to legalize drugs to win that war. For a candidate that bases his entire brand on ‘winning,’ losing a war on drugs would severely chip away from the superhuman aura he’s manifested since he announced his run for president on June 16, 2015.
According to Trump, getting a ‘win’ against the war on drugs starts with complete legalization of all drugs.
Now that Trump has shifted from business man to a political Frankenstein created by the GOP and the media, his stance on marijuana has slightly shifted. In a November interview with GQ last year, Trump states ‘[marijuana for] medical purposes for medicinal purposes it’s absolutely fine.’
While his stance on marijuana may seem to change, his belief that the ‘war on drugs’ is a joke has not. On ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Trump told host Martha Raddatz that the country is doing a ‘poor job’ policing drugs; specifically, "We don't want to do anything. And if you're not going to want to do the policing, you're going to have to start thinking about other alternatives."
But it's not something that I would want to do. Don’t worry, I speak double-talk Trump -- let me translate. Donald Trump simply restated his 1990 position on the War on Drugs however the semantics have shifted to him exploring ‘other alternatives’ to alleviate this problem.
In that same statement, Trump insists that we (he) doesn’t want to do anything about the ‘war on drugs’ solely because he believes the enforcement isn’t working. Of course the only remaining ‘other alternative’ to his proposal is something that he’s reiterated in the past, complete drug legalization.
Presidential candidates tend to swing far right/left early on to appeal to their party’s core demographic in order to be their respective party’s nominee. Once the country is left with two candidates, both shift towards the middle to appeal to voters in the opposing field.
That’s just the way the political game has been operating for as long as any CNN talking head can remember.
Could Trump’s recent shift in his stance on marijuana be an objective attempt to garner key votes in his party? Of course it is.
In 2004, Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he identifies ‘more as a democrat’ and that it "seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans."
Therefore Trump dipping to a more liberal center if/when he becomes the Republican nominee doesn’t seem that unreasonable.
That tilt towards the center would also reflect his previously held stance on drug legalization. Compared to current field of presidential candidates, Trump has held the most radical stance against the enforcement of marijuana and other drugs for for the longest duration.
According to a 2012 RAND report commissioned by the White House, the organization found that $100 billion dollars a year is being generated by illegal drug trade in America, with $40 billion coming from marijuana.
As far as the failed drug enforcement that Trump has repeatedly talked about for decades, in 2010 the federal government spent $15 billion on the ‘war on drugs’ with states and local governments spending an additional $25 billion.
When it comes to the superfluous government spending that Trump denounces at his rallies and debates, $40 billion could be saved just from doing what he said he would do: stop the war on drugs. In fact, Trump would save 400% more from cutting federal and state level enforcement on drugs than he would from ending Common Core.
The real question is if elected, will Trump come through on the multitude of platforms he’s been promising the American people. That’s yet to be determined.
However, if Donald Trump’s words are to be believed as truth, then it’s clear that Donald Trump will be the biggest proponent for the legalization of marijuana in our country’s history.