Donald Trump owes his electoral victory to pro-cannabis voters according to political strategist Roger Stone, who wants the president to repay the favor by getting out of the way of the movement to legalize marijuana.
Stone - a longtime confidant of Trump - recently launched the United States Cannabis Coalition, a bipartisan lobbying group formed to fight for cannabis reform. Their top target is Trump and his campaign promises to respect state cannabis laws. While running for president, The Donald supported legalizing medical marijuana and vowed to respect the rights of states to decide whether to uphold or repeal marijuana prohibition. But his administration is backsliding on those promises - with Attorney General Jeff Sessions leading the charge by threatening to crack down on states that have legalized medical marijuana.
So Stone is stepping up to defend those states.
"I am going to be working with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, progressives and libertarians, liberals, and conservatives to persuade the president to keep his campaign pledge, and to remind the president that he took a strong and forthright position on this issue in the election," he said at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York last Friday. "It's our intention to lobby the Trump Administration from the top down to recognize the medicinal value and economic potential of cannabis."
Respecting cannabis consumers is in the president's best interest since they're the ones who put him in office according to Stone, who argues that Trump's stance on marijuana gave him a "slight edge" over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. That's a surprising claim since her position on marijuana was both more specific and more progressive than her Republican rival's.
So if pro-cannabis voters did give Trump the nod over Clinton, it was likely because they objected to her other policies and her checkered past - not because they saw Trump as the more progressive candidate on marijuana. And Stone might run into the same problem as he tries to gather support for legalization in Congress. Stone is a key figure in the Russia scandal that is besieging the White House right now. And he can't pretend that he doesn't have special interests in legalization since he's currently cultivating his own cannabis strain - named Tricky Dick in honor of his idol Richard Nixon (which is another knock against him).
Stone says there are enough votes in the House and perhaps enough in the Senate to push marijuana reform forward. But it's hard to imagine many congresspeople joining his campaign against pot prohibition. They say politics makes strange bedfellows, but Democratic as well as Republican lawmakers might prefer to sleep on the prohibition couch than shack up with Stone.
h/t Business Insider
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