For the most part the marijuana world has been on edge since Donald Trump took office. There are still a handful of people out there in the marijuana world that still for some reason think that the Trump administration is pro-marijuana because of the economics involved, but I am not one of those people. Yes, Trump is pro-business. And yes, the marijuana industry is growing at a rapid pace and generating a lot of sales. And yes, Trump obviously loves money.
However, I am operating on the assumption that Trump is going to go with whoever has the most money, and that is not the marijuana industry. At least not yet. If you look at industries that have traditionally opposed cannabis legalization – the drug testing industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the alcohol industry, the private prison industry, etc., their assets dwarf the marijuana world’s. If Trump truly loves money, which I absolutely believe he does, he is going to side with marijuana opponents based off of the math alone.
But other math is favorable to the marijuana movement, namely the sheer amount of marijuana businesses out there. If the federal government wanted to pursue ‘greater enforcement’ of marijuana prohibition, the best it could do is play whack-a-mole. If the Bush administration couldn’t stop the marijuana industry from growing, back when it was much smaller than it is today, there’s no way the Trump administration can stop the marijuana industry. At best it can marginally disrupt the industry to use a phrase from the film The Departed.
There is more support now than ever before for marijuana legalization. The most recent Gallup poll put support at 60%. To be fair politicians, especially federal ones, do not always listen to the American public. However, the support for marijuana legalization and the industry it is creating is also supported by more politicians than ever before, which I think is going to be one of the most significant factors at play when it comes to federal marijuana policy. Federal Senators are contacting Jeff Sessions telling him to respect state legalization laws, and at least one State Senator from Nevada is pointing out that going after legal marijuana is about one of the dumbest things the Trump administration could do. Per The Boston Globe:
Senator Tick Segerblom, a Democrat who represents downtown Las Vegas, said, “unless Trump sends in the federal troops,” the Silver State, in the middle of its legislative session, is going “full bore” to implement legalization.
“From a political perspective, I know Trump is an idiot, but if he goes after marijuana, he’s a true idiot,” Segerblom said, adding that the people who legalized marijuana in his state are Trump voters.
Quinnipiac University recently conducted a poll which found that a whopping 71% of poll participants do not want to see the Trump administration intervene in states that have reformed marijuana laws. Marijuana should be a states rights issue. States rights of course being a thing that the Trump administration claims to support when it comes to virtually every other area of public policy. ‘Greater enforcement’ of federal marijuana laws in legal states would be wildly unpopular, and harmful to the democratic process, in addition to being harmful for cannabis consumers that choose to consume a substance that has been found to be 114 time safer than alcohol.