Trump Fears Legal Weed Could Kill Hopes For Re-election
If Donald Trump’s actions, tone and subject matter of choice right now tells us anything, it’s that he is clearly shook. With some reports showing Biden leading by 9 points, notably so in some important battleground states that could make or break the election for either candidate, it’s pretty clear why that is. And as if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Trump recently touted his fear that states with legal weed on the ballot could end up killing his hopes for re-election.
A recent article by the Daily Beast details just how much the idea of stoners swarming to the ballot box and casting votes for the opposition that demonstrate a more favorable views on legalizing it. Trump has never been completely consistent on the conversation of drug reform – back in 1990 he stated, “We’re losing badly the war on drugs… You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.” He even went as far to argue that the profit earned from legalizing drugs could be used to fund certain social programs such as educating Americans on drug use.
But don’t get too excited – Trump has never been known for his honesty or thorough understanding of ideological positions. By 2016, Trump came out strongly against legal weed, and after winning the presidency he appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, who is pretty much the Voldimort to the legalization movement (if Voldimort looked like a Keebler elf). Trump’s last few years spent in the White House has not demonstrated at all that marijuana or drug reform as a whole has been an issue that he finds important, so little has been done aside from a few pushes by Session against states that have already legalized it.
Like most of Trump’s “positions” on certain issues, its hard to identify whether he actually believes something or he’s simply doing what he thinks appeals most to his base. Most of the time, I think it’s the latter, and unfortunately his cult-like appeal to said base allows him to say and do just about anything and his base will somehow find a way to justify it and still support him. Like an idiot savant, he “appears” to always “get it right” with his base, but he seems to be only going on hunches instead of actual research into the hard facts.
The truth is that Republican voters actually do support legalizing the use and sale of marijuana for adults in the U.S. While Trump clearly hasn’t gotten this memo, he is recognizing that it has became a leading issue with many voters, recently positing the idea that these voters are the reason former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker lost re-election back in 2018, a state that had legal weed on the ballot in a handful of cities.
This all begs the question – with majority support for legal weed from citizens and voters, what is stopping politicians from both sides of the aisle from taking a strong stance on the issue? Even Trump in his idiocy recognizes that it has quickly become a key issue that Republicans will fail on if not addressed, so why does it seem like most politicians act in opposition to the idea?
In my last article concerning where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris stood on marijuana, I found that Harris in the last 2 or 3 years has come out in favor of reforming certain aspects of marijuana policies, but like Biden, their past work in opposition to the idea raises some pertinent questions, such as, do they honestly believe in marijuana reform or is this all a ploy to get them (and the party) ahead politically? Biden to this day still touts the age old “gateway drug” theory, and even with Harris, the supposed legal pot warrior she now claims to be, as his VP, all signs lead nowhere when it comes to the conversation on legalization in a supposed Biden/Harris presidency.
It’s infuriating that politicians are known to jump at the chance of doing questionably moral and legal things to further their careers, and yet are so resistant to this issue. A big factor might be that the health and pharmaceutical industry “donates” billions of dollars regularly to politicians and their campaigns, especially during election season. Most recently, a Business Insider report showing how much each politician was contributed listed Donald Trump having received the most (always a winner!), with Kamala and Biden coming in 3rd and 4th place respectively. And while this doesn’t definitively form these politician’s positions for them, it does create a conflict of interest when it comes time for them to make choices that may be to that chagrin of the industry shelling out millions of dollars to see them succeed.
Overall, the idea that Trump fears legal weed is quiet a big deal, and speaks volumes about just how successful the movement to legalize it actually is. Sure, at times it feels slow moving, and the political opposition feels like a David and Goliath story, but it demonstrates that even if politicians choose not to listen (or in the case of Trump are questionably mentally incompetent), if the voices in the room are loud enough they will be heard.