Does Trump Want Cannabis Legalized on a Federal Level?
Brace yourselves, election season is in full swing! With that being said, we expect to see some familiar faces up for election again, including the current president — Donald Trump.
It is certain that there will be a wide array of topics discussed in the election season of 2020; one of which is the ongoing debate regarding the legalization of cannabis on a national level.
According to ground-breaking stats, a whopping 66% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized on a national level. Not only that, but a poll from April 2018 revealed that 9 in 10 US citizens support the availability of medical cannabis to patients. Moreover, being aware of the position of each candidate on the topic of cannabis legalization is vital both for cannabis users and pot investors and workers alike.
So, let’s check out what Donald Trump, the current president of the US, thinks about cannabis.
Firstly, a brief recap: in over three years that Trump has been in the Oval Office, cannabis has stayed a Schedule I substance on a federal level. This means that cannabis is seen as an illegal substance prone to abuse and that its medical benefits remain unrecognized. Presently, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis usage, and 11 of these states even allow the sale and consumption of the substance by adults for recreational use.
Even though the scheduling of cannabis remained unaltered, Trump offered his full support to states that want to regulate and legalize their own cannabis industries. Last year, in August, Trump was asked whether the legalization of cannabis would happen while he is still in office. Trump claimed that cannabis legalization was a big subject and that, currently, states can make their own decisions.
It is possible that Trump will keep on maintaining the status quo if he is elected president a second time. Despite claiming that he was completely supportive of medical cannabis being prescribed by a medical professional during his campaign in 2015–2016, Trump is entirely content with allowing each state to make their own decisions concerning legalization.
However, we must keep in mind that, initially, Trump hired the ex-Senator of Alabama, Jeff Sessions as his attorney general (who was at the time against cannabis). While working as the attorney general, Sessions tried to convince Congress lawmakers to annul cannabis protections, allowing the Justice Department and him to utilize federal funds to conduct legal proceedings against medical cannabis businesses in states where the substance is legal.
So, what does the re-election of Trump mean for cannabis investors and the pot industry in general?
It is quite possible that the cannabis banking reform could happen soon, even in the case that cannabis stays illegal on a federal level. Nevertheless, this will only happen if the Senate’s Republican leaders tone down their rhetoric. Most importantly, without major changes in the political composition of the Senate, the chances of the banking reform actually occurring is almost non-existent.
Although there are plenty of challenges, we do expect to see several states legalizing recreational and medical cannabis. It is likely that Arizona and New Jersey will legalize cannabis for adult-use in the November 2020 election, whereas New York and Florida will do the same in 2022.