Effect of the Trump Presidency on Marijuana Policy
After Barack Obama was elected as President of the United States, many people had hoped he would usher in a progressive wave of marijuana reform.
Obama had been the most out-spoken president in recent US history on marijuana use, and it was commonly believed he would use part of his time in office to push legislation for medical and recreational marijuana acceptance.
Although this never fully came to fruition, steps were certainly made.
When Donald Trump was elected to be President of the United States, nobody knew what would happen.
Not only in terms of medical marijuana but in many ways.
Although Donald Trump was elected president on a conservative policy, some still held on to hope that his “playboy” past life would help him to see the progressive benefits of both medical and recreational marijuana.
As it has happened, Trump has begun a form of a new “war on drugs,” with marijuana being in the middle as always.
Let’s look at the effect of the Trump presidency on marijuana policy in 2018 and beyond!
Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions: Bad for the Marijuana Industry
Whether we are talking about medical or recreational policy, the Trump presidency has done its part to restrict the access of marijuana to US citizens.
However, this is not the end of the story.
This new war on drugs was enacted when Donald Trump decided to hire Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States, a man with a long history of being anti-marijuana use, and anti-progressive ideals overall.
One of the first steps that Trump and Sessions took to limit medical marijuana access to patients was in January of 2018 when Sessions repealed a policy created by Barack Obama’s administration that allowed states to legalize marijuana (for medical or recreational purposes), without much federal enforcement.
Essentially, Obama gave the states their own right to decide how they want to handle marijuana policy.
Since the United States was founded on the principle of state’s rights, this seemed to be a very common-sense idea.
However, the Trump administration has seen it differently.
Luckily, the Trump administration has found more resistance than they probably imagined.
United States Marijuana Policy in 2018
Currently, nine states in the US support fully legalized marijuana use, and 29 states have at least a medical marijuana program.
Despite the efforts of Jeff Sessions, this trend does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
January 1st, 2018, marked the opening of the recreational marijuana market in California, which immediately became the largest marijuana economic center in the world.
Shortly after the announcement of Jeff Sessions that he would be repealing the Obama-era protections on the marijuana industry, Vermont became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through legislature- and not a ballot vote.
With states such as Maine and Massachusetts looking to open their recreational marijuana market in 2018, the intent of the Trump administration to slow marijuana policy reform does not appear to be working.
As more states begin to look at the possibility of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana is sure to expand as well.
A couple of the issues various states are having with adapting medical marijuana for more patients are cost, supply, and banking.
Fortunately, states have been deciding on their own how they want to proceed.
With 2018 only shortly underway, we can be confident that both recreational and medical marijuana will become even more accepted this year.