How will President Donald Trump and new marijuana laws and/or ballot proposals passed on election day 2016 affect the marijuana community?
Voters in California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts approved so-called recreational marijuana legalization on election day, but what they passed isn’t true legalization.
Especially in California, marijuana growing is more regulated now than it was before.
The new law passed by Californians (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or AUMA) contains high taxes, tons of regulations, and lots of restrictions.
California’s Prop. 215 was far better, but it was gutted in early 2016 by the state legislature and Governor Jerry Brown.
The vote in Maine is still too close to totally call, but it appears that voters in Maine, Nevada, Massachusetts, and California have legalized limited personal cultivation of recreational marijuana.
Voters in Florida, North Dakota, and Arkansas legalized medical marijuana, but not personal medical marijuana growing.
Montana voters reversed restrictions that legislators placed onto the state’s medical marijuana law.
Arizona voters, influenced by millions of advertising and propaganda dollars spent by a pharmaceutical heroin manufacturer, rejected Prop. 205, a cannabis legalization ballot proposal.
But none of these state marijuana legalization laws will matter much if a President Donald Trump and his ultra-conservative vice president Mike Pence are true to their stated feelings about marijuana legalization and enforcement at the federal level.
For example, Donald Trump said he’d choose people like Chris Christie, U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, or Rudy Giuliani to be his attorney general.
All these people are enemies of marijuana, including medical marijuana.
Christie said that if he’s the U.S. Attorney General, he’ll do everything in his power to stop Colorado, Oregon, Washington and other legalized marijuana states from honoring their voter-approved marijuana laws.
Recent reports indicate Christie has been purged from Trump’s inner circle because Christie when he was a federal prosecutor put Trump’s son-in-law’s father in prison, but all of Trump’s other rumored attorney general choices are rabidly anti-marijuana.
On November 18, 2016, Trump announced that he’d chosen Alabama drug war Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.
Read here for more information about this very disappointing pick.
We must also remember that Mike Pence as governor of Indiana pushed for and achieved some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country.
Pence is a right-wing conservative who uses his bizarrely inaccurate interpretation of the Bible to justify opposition to birth control, abortion, and marijuana.
That’s why Indiana is one of the worst drug war states.
In Indiana, any amount of marijuana, even 1/1000th of a gram, is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in jail and a $1000 fine.
If you have more than 30 grams of marijuana and one or more prior marijuana convictions, you’re charged with a felony and can go to jail for 2-3 years and have to pay a $10,000 fine.
If you’re growing even one plant, it’s a felony punishable by as much as six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Pence has repeatedly worked against attempts to liberalize the state’s marijuana laws and penalties.
Trump and Pence are allied with the most extreme Tea Party right-wing members of the Republican Party in Congress.
These folks are in bed with the prison, drug testing, alcohol, pharmaceutical, law enforcement, and war industries.
They’re definitely not “libertarians.”
You can bet that the DEA and anti-marijuana federal prosecutors will be empowered in a Trump presidency.
Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine weren’t legalizers, but at least they were influenced by people like Bernie Sanders, who was endorsed by Tommy Chong because Sanders backs full-on federal decriminalization of marijuana.
Whether you hate Hillary and love Donald Trump, or vice versa, and despite faux legalization ballot victories in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Florida, Maine, and Arkansas, a Trump presidency is likely to be harsh for the marijuana growing community.