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Trump opposes cannabis legalization, spokesperson says

Trump opposes cannabis legalization, spokesperson says

US President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump does not want to end federal laws banning cannabis, and believes they are necessary to keep minors safe from drugs, a senior official with Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign said this week. The official did not distinguish between medical and recreational marijuana.

Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 campaign told a Las Vegas CBS affiliate: “I think the president has been pretty clear on his view on marijuana at the federal level. I know many states have taken a different path but I think what the president is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent, of a parent of a young person to make sure we keep our kids away from drugs.”

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump addresses reporters outside the White House. (Evan El-Amin/Shutterstock)

Lotter added that marijuana prohibition “is the federal policy and if he changes that obviously that’s something I wouldn’t want to get out in front of him on that.”

Nevada is one of 10 states (as well as Washington DC) that have fully legalized adult-use (“recreational”) marijuana for sale without a medical prescription. 

The entire field of democratic presidential hopefuls have come out in favor of at least marijuana decriminalization, with a majority expressing support for full legalization.

Trump and his surrogates have made numerous past comments on marijuana legalization. In January, a recording was released of Trump saying that cannabis makes people lose IQ points, and that he’s not sure if legalization “is a good thing or a bad thing.” He also claimed that it led to an increase in accidents in Colorado. 

In February, Trump released his administration’s budget proposal for 2021, which included a proposed end to the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which dictates that the Department of Justice can’t use its funds to prevent states “from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.” 

The budget changes proposed by the Trump administration would cancel these protections.

It has been fairly hard to pin down where exactly President Trump stands on marijuana policy. When he was running for president in 2016, he said that states should be able to legalize cannabis if they see fit, and expressed his support for medical marijuana. In December 2019 however, Trump stated that he reserves the right to ignore the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.

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