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Marijuana Legalization

Federal Government

What are the laws regarding marijuana, and what is the Trump administration’s take on marijuana legalization? In the United States, marijuana remains completely illegal at the federal level (country-wide) for any purpose. There are no federal exceptions for medical marijuana.

Each state has been allowed to set its own laws, and since the 1970s some states have taken steps to decriminalize marijuana, to legalize it for medical purposes, and to fully legalize and regulate it for recreational use.

The federal government has historically deterred and harassed businesses in these states, but the federal government has still allowed the states to regulate marijuana even though it violates federal law.

Trump Administration: Conservative Backlash, 2016-2020

Under the Obama administration (2008-2016), the attorney general released three memos that advised that the DEA no longer pursue marijuana enforcement in states that have decriminalized or legalized marijuana.

When Trump was campaigning, he signaled support for states rights to decided their own marijuana laws.

However, all of the people Trump has chosen for his administration have been strictly opposed to marijuana legalization, and have reversed the DEA memos from the Obama era, so that federal enforcement against marijuana could resume.

Trump is Opposed to Marijuana

Despite Trump not saying so directly, most advocates agree that the Trump administration has been bad for marijuana legalization.

At the state level, politicians who are most opposed to marijuana legalization tend to be conservative Republicans, the base of whom strongly support Trump.

Next Steps: Vote in November, 2020

There is so much that the Federal Government can do to support states rights to legalize marijuana.

For example, if marijuana weren’t classed as a “Schedule I controlled substance,” which it shouldn’t be due to its medicinal properties, it would not have so many legal restrictions.

Also if legal marijuana businesses could have access to banking and to fair tax laws, they could flourish and contribute to the economy.

The best thing citizens can do to support marijuana legalization is to vote for pro-legalization politicians at the state and federal level.

Check your state for activism taking place this year, and vote for a pro-legalization president in 2020!