Tag: Trump Administration

Jeff Sessions Evades Firm Answer on State Marijuana Laws

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) listens to a question during confirmation hearings on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

During his confirmation for the position of Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions failed to give a straight answer with regard to how the Justice Department should respond to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

The Alabama Senator was questioned by both Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) with respect to whether the principles of federalism ought to apply to state marijuana laws.

Senator Leahy: “Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people using marijuana in accordance with state law even though it might violate federal law?”

Senator Sessions: “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy, but absolutely it is a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized, at least in some fashion marijuana, some parts of marijuana.”

Senator Leahy: “Do you agree with those guidelines?”

Senator Sessions: “I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases, but fundamentally the criticism I think that is legitimate is that they may not have been followed. Using good judgment on how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine I know it wont be an easy decision but i will try to do my duty in a fair and just way.”

Senator Leahy: “The reason I mention this, is because you have some very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for second offense on drug trafficking, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional.”

Senator Sessions: “Well I’m not sure under what circumstances i said that, but I don’t think…”

Senator Leahy: “Would you say it‘s not your view today?”

Senator Sessions: “(laughs) It is not my view today.”

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) followed up with questions regarding how marijuana policy factors into federalism and asked if the way the Obama Administration has handled marijuana laws created any issues with separation of powers and states rights.

Sessions replied that, “One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act. If that’s something that’s not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule, it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”

So, after finally being put on the spot and questioned on the issue, we are no closer to clarity in regards to Sessions plans for how to treat state marijuana laws than we were yesterday.

If anything, his comments are a cause for concern and can be interpreted as leaving the door open for enforcing federal law in legalized states.

If Sessions wants to be an Attorney General for ALL Americans, he must bring his views in line with the majority of the population and support allowing states to set their own marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

“Just Say No” to Jeff Sessions for Attorney General Campaign Launched by DPA

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

The Drug Policy Alliance is launching a campaign to put the brakes on Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination for Attorney General.

The Drug Policy Alliance campaign includes a new video launched today on The Root that exposes Jeff Sessions’ appalling record on drug policy, civil and human rights, and criminal justice reform.

The Drug Policy Alliance video, created by award-winning filmmaker dream hampton, alternates between archival media footage of Jeff Sessions’ troubling racist words and actions, and DPA staff and allies talking about what Sessions would mean for drug policy and criminal justice.

The video ends with a call to action asking people to call their Senators to reject Session for Attorney General.

“Jeff Sessions is a drug war extremist with a career-long history of racist comments and actions,” said Bill Piper, Senior Director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “In recent years, Sessions played a critical role in blocking efforts to reform sentencing policy, asset forfeiture, and marijuana laws. We will do everything we can to stop his confirmation.”

The last time Sessions faced a confirmation vote, in 1986, his nomination was voted down by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee after they were confronted by Sessions’ extensive history of racist comments and actions. A black colleague testified that Sessions referred to him as “boy.” Sessions referred to the NAACP and other civil rights organizations as un-American groups that “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” He was accused of using his authority as a U.S. attorney to disrupt and prosecute civil rights activists who were registering African-Americans to vote. He even reportedly said he thought the KKK was “OK” until he found out its members smoked pot.

During his time in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions has consistently supported efforts to expand the drug war and roll back civil rights. He was the chief opponent of recent bipartisan efforts to reduce sentences for drug offenses and has a track record of opposition to marijuana reform.  He is likely to use his power as Attorney General to accelerate federal prosecutions for drug law violations that carry draconian mandatory sentences and to interfere with state-legal marijuana and medical marijuana programs. Sessions is likely to expand the use of surveillance and policing against immigrant and marginalized communities. A Senate confirmation of Sessions would also position Sessions as a powerful foe of bipartisan criminal justice and sentencing reform efforts in Congress.

The Drug Policy Alliance is working with a broad coalition of organizations across the political spectrum to oppose Sessions.

The Drug Policy Alliance is urging people to ask their Senators to oppose the Sessions nomination.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Take Action: Oppose Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) received a failing grade on marijuana reform from NORML (source: NORML)

Senate lawmakers are only days away from taking a vote that may have a drastic impact on the future of marijuana policy.

Beginning Tuesday, January 10, members of the US Senate will begin confirmation hearings on the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for the position of US Attorney General — the top law enforcement officer in the land.

As a US Senator, Sessions has been among the most outspoken anti-marijuana opponents in Congress, and he was one of only 16 US Senators to receive a failing grade from NORML in our 2016 Congressional Report Card.

Senator Sessions has a long and consistent record of opposing any efforts to reform marijuana policy. He once notoriously remarked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot.”

More recently, he condemned the Obama administration’s ‘hands off’ policy with regard to state marijuana laws, stating, “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.”

Fast-forward to today: Senator Sessions is on the cusp of becoming the top law enforcement officer in the United States. That is, unless your members of the US Senate hear a loud and clear message from you!

If confirmed by the US Senate to be US Attorney General, Sen. Sessions will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains. He will have the authority to challenge the medical marijuana programs that now operate in 29 states and the adult use legalization laws that have been approved in eight states. Senator Sessions views on marijuana are out of step with those of the majority of the American public and also with those of President-Elect Trump, who has said that questions regarding marijuana policy are best left up to the states, not the federal government. In short, the appointment of Sen. Sessions would be a step backwards at a time when the American public is demanding we push marijuana legalization forward. He is the wrong man for the job, and he represents a clear and present danger to the marijuana law reform movement.

Please take action today to assure that he is vetted properly. At a minimum, Sen. Sessions must be asked whether he intends to respect the will of the voters in the majority of US states that have enacted to pursue alternative marijuana policies. If he is not willing to act on the behest of the majority of Americans and to respect the laws of the majority of US states, then he does not deserve the support of the cannabis reform community.

Contact your Senator and ask him/her to take a critical look at Sen. Sessions. You can do so by visiting NORML’s Take Action Center here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

DC Activists to Hand Out, Light 4,200 Joints During Trump Inauguration

Activists from DCMJ say they will hand out 4,200 free joints on inauguration day, with the intention of lighting them up during President-elect Trump’s inauguration speech.

Most of what is planned by activists is legal to do so.  In the District of Columbia, it is legal for one adult to give another adult up to one ounce of marijuana without compensation, as long as the exchange doesn’t take place on federal property.

DCMJ plans to hand out the joints starting at 8 am on inauguration day, January 20, at Dupont Circle, according to a statement on the group’s website:

We will gather on the west side of Dupont Circle at 8am for coffee & tea and parade down to the National Mall at 10am. Along the way we’ll hand out 4,200 joints of legally grown cannabis! At 4 minutes and 20 seconds into President Trump’s speech we’ll light up! (unless President Trump comes out now in support of full cannabis legalization in all 50 States and DC!)

We legalized cannabis in Washington, DC and we are not going to let anyone take that away from us! This is an outreach opportunity to show President Trump’s supporters we are the marijuana majority! Join us for smokin’ fun time!

As of Tuesday, approximately 420 joints had already been rolled, according to the group’s Twitter page.

The incoming Trump administration has come under fire for

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

NORML Releases Open Letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Marijuana Policy

NORML Releases Open Letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Marijuana Policy | NORML

National NORML, Michigan NORML and dozens of other state and local chapters have released an open letter to Vice President-Elect Pence seeking clarity and common sense from the incoming administration regarding marijuana policy. During the campaign, President-Elect Trump, on multiple occasions, has voiced support for allowing states to move forward with medical and recreational marijuana […]

NORML Releases Open Letter to Vice President-Elect Mike Pence on Marijuana Policy | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Hearing Set for Jeff Sessions Attorney General Nomination

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore)

It’s official, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has set January 10-11, 2017 for the confirmation hearing of noted marijuana law reform opponent Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to become the next Attorney General.

Already it appears that Sen. Grassley will try to keep the hearings as short as possible and restrict the number of witnesses who testify. From the Judiciary Committee press release:

“The hearings for the four most recent Attorneys General lasted one to two days each. At each of those hearings, three to nine outside witnesses testified.”

It’s clear the hope is to rush the process as much as possible in order to obtain a successful confirmation given Sessions’ failed history of earning the approval of the Judiciary Committee for a previous judicial appointment in the 1980’s.

In 1986, Sessions was appointed by the Reagan Administration to serve as a federal judge, yet his confirmation was voted down 8-10 in the Republican controlled committee, with two Republicans joining the Democrats in opposition over claims of racial prejudice, including off handed remarks about supporting the Ku Klux Klan until he discovered that they smoke marijuana. At the time, Sessions was just the second judicial federal appointee denied confirmation in 50 years.

The implications for marijuana policies at the state level could be dire. As recently as April of this year, during a Senate hearing, Sessions proclaimed that “good people do not use marijuana.” How a potential Attorney General Sessions would treat the 29 states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana is still unclear and could prove devastating to the decades of hard-fought progress that we have made on behalf of responsible marijuana users.

TAKE ACTION: Email your Senators and tell them to not approve Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Trump Nominates Another Drug War Zealot, General John Kelly, to Head Department of Homeland Security

Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, discusses the latest developments in his command’s efforts to stem the flow of drugs from South and Central America while briefing reporters at the Pentagon, March 13, 2014. (Department of Defense/Glenn Fawcett)

WASHINGTON, DC — According to multiple media reports Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump will nominate General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly served as head of Southcom, overseeing drug war efforts in Latin America under the Obama Administration.

“This is looking really bad,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “First Sessions for Attorney General, then Price at HHS, and now yet another old-style drug war character for Homeland Security. It looks like Donald Trump is revving up to re-launch the failed drug war.”

In 2014, Kelly told a Congressional hearing that marijuana legalization in the U.S. was undermining U.S relations with countries in Latin America. Kelly commented that governments were “confused by the signals that our legalization sends, and when they’re investing so much in resources and blood they have to question that.” Kelly claimed that Latin American leaders were in “disbelief” that states were legalizing marijuana – despite the fact that many Latin America countries have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, or explored doing so.

Despite the Defense Department’s billion-dollar counter-narcotics annual budget, Kelly also claimed in a separate hearing in 2014 that he needed more funding to fight the drug war, saying that a lack of resources means he has to “simply sit and watch” drug traffickers as they move their supplies, and are unable to interdict 74% of smuggling. Two weeks later, this time at a press conference in Latin America, Kelly was talking about how successful interdiction efforts were in the region, with his Guatemalan counterpart extolling a 62% reduction in drug flow, seemingly contradicting Kelly’s earlier comments to Congress.

In April 2016, he testified before a Senate Committee that in the mid-1960s, ”the use of drugs became literally cool as projected by Hollywood, social progressives, and even Harvard professors.” When discussing people who use drugs, he also said that “most of these abusers started with the gateway drug that marijuana most certainly is.”

While Trump pledged to respect state-level marijuana reforms during the presidential campaign, he named a dedicated opponent of marijuana reform and longtime drug war extremist, Senator Jeff Sessions, as attorney general. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Price, who Trump selected as director of health and human services, has voted against key medical marijuana measures in Congress.  And today, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who sued the state of Colorado to block marijuana legalization, was selected to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Kelly is a big-time drug war zealot,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of Drug Policy Alliance’s office of national affairs. “As head of Southern Command he demonstrated that he is a true believer in the drug war, and it’s incredibly worrying that he could now head up Homeland Security.”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Arizona Prosecutor Wants Trump to “End the Charade” of Marijuana Legalization

PHOENIX, AZ — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a prominent Republican who helped lead the opposition to a failed ballot measure that would have legalizde marijuana in Arizona, said this week that he expects the Trump Administration to crack down on medical marijuana laws nationwide and to “end the charade” of marijuana legalization in the states that have done so.

At a press conference Wednesday, Montgomery, a staunch opponent to all things marijuana, said that he hopes the incoming Trump Administration will work with the  Department of Justice and Congress to bring state programs into alignment with federal law, and make medical marijuana subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process.

“It’s the job of the executive branch that laws are being executed,” he said “Today we have a number of states, through their own process of declaring something medical, that created a patchwork system of regulations and programs around the country that are in direct conflict with federal law.”

Montgomery said there should be a crackdown on people “abusing the medicinal-marijuana system” and on states that have approved the recreational use of marijuana.

“If this administration does not underscore that we are a nation of laws and not men, then we forgo the legitimacy of our system of federalism,” Montgomery said. “Either this administration means what it says about law and order, or it’s a farce. And in which case, Arizona should be able to pass its own immigration laws, should be able to pass its own laws and regulation on abortion, and the federal government should stay out of our business.”

“We ought to end the charade, and the next administration has the opportunity to do so,” he said.

As Maricopa County Attorney, Montgomery is responsible for overseeing criminal prosecutions — including marijuana cases — in the largest county in Arizona, which includes the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe.  With a population of over 3.8 million, Maricopa County is the fourth largest county in the United States, according to Wikipedia, and has a larger population than 23 states.

Voters in Arizona narrowly defeated Proposition 205 in November 52% to 48%, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults.  Of the nine states voting on marijuana related initiatives in the general election, Arizona was the only state to see a defeat.  The opposition to Prop. 205 relied largely upon misinformation about the results of legalization in Colorado.

Montgomery was a leader in the efforts to defeat the legalization proposal, having joined forces with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk to file a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the measure from appearing on the ballot.  A Maricopa County judge rejected the lawsuit in August.

Montgomery also came under fire from marijuana legalization supporters earlier this year after comments he made that suggested marijuana was too dangerous to regulate for adult use. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backers of the failed legalization campaign, called upon Montgomery in April to either prove his claims that marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol, or to return over $8,000 in campaign contributions he received from the alcohol industry.

Montgomery 2016 received at least $8,050 in contributions from members of the alcohol industry in 2015, according to campaign finance reports.

Perhaps Montgomery has other motives for demonizing marijuana and maintaining the status-quo of prohibition. Possession of any amount of marijuana in Arizona, even for first time offenders, is considered a felony that could land an offender in prison for up to two years and fines of up to $150,000.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Trump Adds Another Marijuana Opponent to Cabinet

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has been picked by President-elect Donald Trump as Health and Human Services secretary. (photo/Gage Skidmore)

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) has been picked by President-elect Donald Trump as Health and Human Services secretary. (photo/Gage Skidmore)

President-elect Donald Trump has picked another marijuana opponent to join his cabinet, tabbing Georgia Rep. Tom Price to serve as  Health and Human Services secretary.

This could be bad news for state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs in the 28 states that allow it.  While the Department of Justice — which, if he is confirmed by the Senate, would be overseen by fellow anti-pot Republican Jeff Sessions — oversees federal drug laws, the Health and Human Services secretary holds some powers that could have negative consequences for states that allow medical marijuana.

Because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the federal government, as HHS Secretary Price could penalize doctors who recommend medical marijuana, including freezing or limiting Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors because of their participation in state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs.  Price could also sue dispensaries and other businesses who promote marijuana as medicine because cannabis has not been designated as medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As a Member of Congress, Price’s voting record includes a track record of anti-marijuana votes, earning him a grade of a D from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in their annual Congressional Scorecard.

Price’s voting record in Congress includes:

  • Going against a measure that would prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state recreational marijuana laws.
  • Voting six times against amendments preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws.
  • Voting three times against a measure that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans who might benefit from it.

While on the campaign trail, Trump suggested that he would respect state marijuana laws.  “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump said in October 2015.

However, nominating staunch opponents of marijuana to two leading cabinet positions could indicate a change of tune by the Trump Administration.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Will Trump’s Dead Alcoholic Brother Haunt His Drug Policy?

As incoming president, Donald Trump will be, among other things, the man in charge of the nation’s drug policy. Whether he takes a hand-on, direct approach to policy-making or whether he delegates decision-making authority on drug matters to subordinates—think Attorney General Jeff Sessions and shudder—the buck ultimately stops with Donald.

What a Trump administration will do with states that have legalized marijuana is a huge burning question, but the drug policy horizon extends well beyond weed. The Obama administration has championed federal drug sentencing reform, and the president is now commuting the sentences of dozens of drug offenders each week as the clock ticks down on his tenure. Will Trump reverse course?

There’s also a huge cry for drug treatment in response to increasing heroin and prescription opioid use. Will a Trump administration be sympathetic? And what about harm reduction—needle exchanges, supervised consumption sites, and the like—do such programs have a future under Trump?

The short answer is: Who knows? Trump is proving day by day that how governs will not necessarily have much correlation with anything he said on the campaign trail. And, as with his approach to many policy areas, what he has said about drugs, both during the campaign and in his earlier life, sounds both spur-of-the-moment and self-contradictory.

But Trump is not just a rather unpredictable president-elect; he’s also a person with his own personal and family history, and that history includes a close encounter with substance abuse that sheds some light on his attitudes towards drugs and may influence his drug policy decision-making.

Donald Trump’s older brother, and his overbearing father’s namesake, “Freddy, Jr.,” was a full-blown alcoholic by his mid-20s (and Donald’s teens) and drank himself into an early grave at the age of 43 in 1981. Freddy wasn’t ready to take over the family business and instead became a fun-loving airline pilot, but his descent into the bottle had a traumatic—and lasting–impact on his little brother.

“I learned a lot from my brother Fred’s death,” Trump told Esquire in a 2004 interview. “He was a great-looking guy. He had the best personality. He had everything. But he had a problem with alcohol and cigarettes. He knew he had the problem, and it’s a tough problem to have. He was ten years older than me, and he would always tell me not to drink or smoke. And to this day I’ve never had a cigarette. I’ve never had a glass of alcohol. I won’t even drink a cup of coffee. I just stay away from those things because he had such a tremendous problem. Fred did me a great favor. It’s one of the greatest favors anyone’s ever done for me,” he recalled.

Trump’s experience with his brother turned him into a teetotaler, although he does swill Diet Coke instead. And he admits to one other “vice” in revealing terms. In a 2007 video, he said that hot women are his “alcoholism,” especially “beautiful” teens.

“I never understood why people don’t go after the alcohol companies like they did the tobacco companies,” he continued in the Esquire interview. “Alcohol is a much worse problem than cigarettes.”

Still, the free-wheeling free marketeer wasn’t ready to reinstate Prohibition because of Freddy, and that attitude extended to drugs. In the early 1990s, Trump repeatedly talked about drug legalization, calling drug law enforcement “a joke” and saying “You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profits away from these drug czars.”

But Trump was singing a different tune on the campaign trail, especially in New Hampshire, which has been hit hard by the opioid wave. In a November 2015 interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, Trump backtracked.

“Well, I did not think about it,” he confessed. “I said it’s something that should be studied and maybe should continue to be studied. But it’s not something I’d be willing to do right now. I think it’s something that I’ve always said maybe it has to be looked at because we do such a poor job of policing. We don’t want to build walls. We don’t want to do anything. And if you’re not going to want to do the policing, you’re going to have to start thinking about other alternatives. But it’s not something that I would want to do.”

That suggests that he thinks if we just enforce drug laws more vigorously, we could solve the problem. But it also suggests that he hasn’t really been paying attention to the last 40 years of the war on drugs. Still, he has also said that marijuana legalization “should be a state issue, state by state,” suggesting that he will not try to roll back pot legalization in the eight states that have now voted to free the weed.

And in an October 15 speech in New Hampshire, where he made his most coherent remarks about drug policy, he was mainly about building the wall on the Mexican border to stop the flow of heroin from Mexico. But in that speech, he at least sketched the outlines of response that included increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone, increased reliance on drug courts, and increased access to the silver bullet of drug addiction, “abuse-deterring drugs.” But he didn’t say anything about how much he would be willing to spend on treatment and recovery (Hillary Clinton rolled out a $10 billion plan), nor how he would pay for it.

As with many policy areas, Trump’s positions on drug policy are murky, seemingly only half-developed, and full of potential contradictions. Will having a teetotaler with a dead alcoholic brother in the White House make for better drug policies or an administration more understanding of the travails of addiction? As with many things Trump, we shall have to wait for his actions. Nominating drug war hardliners like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to head the Justice Department and giving Vice President-elect Mike Pence props for enacting mandatory minimum drug sentences aren’t good omens, though.


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.