What President Trump means for legal marijuana

What President Trump means for legal marijuana

PoliticsNovember 10, 2016 By Ethan Desmond

So the apprentice firing, spray tanning Donald Trump is officially going to be president soon. And — whether you're scared shitless or feeling pretty good about our new overlord — there are some serious tasks the Don is going to face when he takes on the White House.

Most notable is America's growing call for legalized marijuana. In just this last election, 4 more states including Nevada, California, Maine and Massachusetts approved recreational pot. That brings the total to 8 states in America (including Washington D.C.) where adults can legally purchase weed recreationally, and 25 medically. Likewise, over 65 percent see no problems with the plant according to recent polls and 1 in 5 have access to it in some form or another.

But President-elect Trump (like on so many of his other positions), has changed his mind about drug regulation throughout his professional and political career dramatically. Far back in 1990, he called America's war on drugs "a joke," adding that America's only hope in winning the war would be to take profits away from the drug czars by making all drugs legal.

Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. The legalize-everything policy is actually something Portugal enacted in 2001, and has since seen overdose cases fall a substantial amount within the small European country.

Trump has also said that he thinks "medical marijuana should happen," which is great news for people throughout this county who need it to live with very real debilitating illnesses that are proven to be cured by the plant.

However, Trump recently strayed from his earlier platform of legalizing all drugs, and has said it's up to the individual states to decide what drug policies they wish to enact. Which means the District of Columbia and the other 25 states with some form of legal marijuana likely won't have to worry about business being shut down if he has his way.

Except, Trump has yet to announce who will be the nation's next Attorney General and who he will appoint to fill the empty space in the Supreme Court. Both of those positions could play a huge role in the future of marijuana regulation in this country over the next four years.

Rumors point to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie being the new Attorney General — both equally against pot in myriad ways.

Legalized states continue to be optimistic about the whole thing, however.

"Go against millions of supporters, against states' rights, against where the public is?" said Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer in one interview. "It would be the beginning of tremendous problems for the Trump administration that they don't need."

On the bright side, at least President Trump himself likely won't try and shut down recreational marijuana in the states it's currently legal, which will allow them to continue profiting off of the $7.1 billion industry.