What does President Trump really think about legalized marijuana? Where does he really stand on medical marijuana? Nobody knows for sure. But what is certain is what he said on the campaign trail leading up to the 2016 vote.
The Gazette this week released for the first time video of a July 2016 conversation the candidate had with the Colorado Springs newspaper’s editorial board. The message of that three-minute video is unambiguous: Trump promised over and over again that he would respect states’ rights when it comes to cannabis regulation. This position clearly puts him at odds with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recently cleared the way for federal agencies to crack down on marijuana.
According to the Gazette:
Asked directly by editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen if, as president, he would order enforcement of federal marijuana law, Trump responded: “Officially, I’m in favor of medical marijuana. For legalization, I have been in favor of states’ rights. In other words, let the states work it out.”
“We wanted to know Trump’s views on legalized recreational pot, so we discussed it with him for 10 minutes,” Laugesen said last week. “We demanded to know if he might enforce federal law in states that have legalized, and received nuanced discussion about states’ rights and his concern the legalization movement might reveal damage to children.”
Trump also said: “I have always been a person that says, ‘Let’s see what happens in Colorado.’ Because you’re doing a great test to see what happens, and I like the idea of a state making that decision.
“I believe if people vote for it, that’s the way it should go. Colorado is an example of that. It’s states’ rights.”
Earlier this month, Sessions rescinded the Obama-era Cole Memo limiting the reach of the Justice Department to enforce federal cannabis laws. “It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law,” Sessions said.