Donald Trump must answer for marijuana smear team
Saturday, Sep 8, 2018

When Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016, the cannabis industry assumed they had an ally heading into the White House. Mr. Trump offered the most cannabis reform-oriented rhetoric of any major party candidate in American history, favoring medical cannabis and arguing adult-use cannabis policy was a matter for the states. The cannabis industry was patient — if nervous — even as he appointed drug warrior Jeff Sessions as Attorney General and again when Mr. Sessions ultimately rescinded the Cole Memo.

Along the way, there were other concerns about how the administration would handle cannabis policy, but still the cannabis industry as well as its customers, patients, and investors had hope. However, last week Buzzfeed reported that the White House organized the so-called “Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee,” composed of “14 federal agencies and the [DEA].”

Ostensibly, the goal was to balance what the White House sees as a one-sided (read: pro-reform) debate. And in that process, it offered a damning indictment of the administration’s true perspective on the cannabis issue. The organizing memorandum noted, “[d]epartments should provide . . . the most significant data demonstrating negative trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends.”