November 8th is almost here (Thank you, Baby Jesus!) and Donald Trump still has a puncher’s chance of winning the presidency over Hillary Clinton. I have seen some legalization supporters post online about how Donald Trump would be good for the legalization movement, but I beg to differ. If cannabis legalization and greater civil liberty issues are important to you, then I argue that Donald Trump is the worst candidate available. If you are in a swing state, I urge a vote for Hillary Clinton. If you are in a “safe” state that isn’t close, then I have absolutely no problem with a third-party or write-in vote.
Yes, Donald Trump once apparently stated that he supported the legalization of all drugs. But that was in the early 1990s and we’ve seen Trump flip-flop on a whole host of issues, one of the major reasons why he can’t be trusted. Trump has proclaimed that he supports medical cannabis and a states’ rights position on marijuana policy, both medical and recreational. Trump and Clinton basically have the same practical policy on states’ rights to implement their own cannabis policies, but I believe that the cannabis community is in a much better position to influence Clinton to implement sensible policies.
Trump and Clinton, like most politicians, have been political chameleons changing their positions for their respective constituencies. Trump appears to be much more conservative and authoritarian than he was just a few years ago, while Clinton has evolved towards a more progressive position on trade, marriage equality and marijuana.
When considering which politicians could go back on their word to respect the will of the voters that have legalized cannabis, Trump is the much bigger danger, in my humble opinion. First, we must consider the Attorney General that Trump would appoint and the federal prosecutors that he would employ across the nation. It seems apparent that one of Trump’s top choices for AG would be Reefer Madness prohibitionist Chris Christie, who would be a disaster for the cannabis community. While Christie may have serious problems getting confirmed by the Senate, just the thought that someone like Christie would be Trump’s AG pick should give the cannabis community pause.
Next, consider the fact the vindictive nature of Donald Trump. The Donald has called for violence against protesters; a rollback of the First Amendment; the return of torture as a U.S. interrogation tactic; and the jailing of his presidential opponent. Many politicians live by the creed of “helping your friends and hurting your enemies” and Trump seems to embrace that way of thinking. Consider the states that have legalized cannabis for both medical and adult-use purposes; they are overwhelmingly Democratic states that won’t vote for Trump. Also, look at the demographics that are more likely to support legalization: young Democrats and independents, not Trump’s political base.
There are many warning signs that Donald Trump would be an authoritarian president willing to trample our civil liberties. He cannot be trusted to respect the will of the voters allow states to move forward with their own cannabis policies. If you care about legalization and protecting civil liberties, I urge you to cast a vote for anyone but Donald Trump this election. #NeverTrump