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Trump to support ending federal prohibition of marijuana

Just a little more than 500 days into his first term, there are already signs that President Donald Trump will cruise to reelection in 2020. 

The economy is not just humming along, it’s roaring. Wall Street is up; housing starts and values are up; retirement earnings are up; unemployment is at historic lows; the U.S. military is regaining its predominance; and the president has slashed and burned scores of burdensome regulations.

He’s picked the right battles in our neverending culture war. He’s delivering on his pledge to “Make America Great Again.”

Now he’s set to sign off on a policy that will no doubt shore up his core support and even win him some converts.

As reported by The Marijuana Moment, Trump — on his way out of the White House to the G-7 summit in neighboring Canada — said he “really” supports legislation co-authored by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., that would give states back more of their constitutional autonomy as it pertains to the authority to decide their own marijuana usage laws.

“I really do. I support Senator Gardner,” he said in response to a reporter who asked whether he backs the legislation. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it,” Trump said. “But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

The bill is called the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act,” and in part, it would “amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from its provisions.”

In addition, it also provides new legal protections for banks that work with lawful cannabis businesses while legalizing industrial hemp. 

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Since Colorado and Washington state passed laws in 2012 legalizing recreational pot use, those states have been in violation of federal law which continues to prohibit such use. Then-President Obama decided that he had “bigger fish to fry” than pursue legal cases against both states, and POTUS Trump’s administration initially appeared to be moving against those and other states who have legalized pot use. 

A positive thing for Trump

This bill, if it passes, will obviously fix the legal imbalance between federal law and state laws regarding marijuana use. (Related: Legal marijuana sales expected to hit $75 billion by 2030, say analysts.)

The legislation was introduced late last week after Gardner and POTUS came to an agreement that the White House would support it if the Colorado Republican agreed to stop blocking Justice Department nominees following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move earlier this year to rescind Obama-era guidance that generally protected cannabis laws.

“It is a positive sign that President Trump’s first cannabis comment as the Commander in Chief was support for the STATES Act. The real question is how will Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell react,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal told Marijuana Moment. 

“The burden is now on the congressional gatekeepers to pass the bill so we can finally end Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s legal ability to infringe upon the progress we have made in 46 states and unshackle state-lawmakers to end criminalization once and for all,” he added.

Thus far, the website reported, nine states have legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21. Several others permit the use of pot for medicinal purposes such as pain control. 

“In 2012, Coloradans legalized marijuana at the ballot box and the state created an apparatus to regulate the legal marijuana industry.  But because of the one-size-fits-all federal prohibition, state decisions like this put Colorado and other states at odds with the federal government,” Gardner said in a statement on his Senate website. “The federal government is closing its eyes and plugging its ears while 46 states have acted.”

This is a step in the right direction for returning power back to the states, as our founders envisioned.


J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

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