Trump’s administration is at it again and this time they are heading towards delaying the legalization of cannabis in the United States at a federal level.
The federal prohibition on cannabis is getting stronger by the day and it seems that no one can stop it. A special White House Committee is said to collect a handful of cherry-picked data that will put cannabis legalization in a bad light.
Believers of cannabis’ positive effects have been fighting in the federal war for its legalization for almost 80 years now but their efforts fall on deaf ears because of the lack of support from the federal government.
According to Buzzfeed News, the current administration made an effort to create an anti-cannabis committee. They funded 15 federal institutions to collect all the negative data they can against cannabis use, especially on its legalization, law reforms, regulation, and its inclusion in the market.
This negative information is rumored to then be compiled and be used as proof in making sure that the federal actions in cannabis legalization fail. The committee is specifically looking for stories that will elicit fear in the general public.
Equipped with a variety of disturbing pictures, the committee attempts to dissuade the advocates to withdraw their support. Legalization critics took part in this and wanted to include cases such as teenage cannabis use, drugged driving, and a lot of mental health misconceptions connecting to cannabis use.
Calling themselves the “Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee”, this agency already sent electronic mails to different institutions asking for any negative information they can provide about cannabis.
In an email that spread this August, the committee specifically asked for “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about cannabis use and the possible threats that it could bring to the United States.
In the report that Buzzfeed reporter Dominic Holden wrote, he stated that “the committee’s records show it as asking officials only to portray cannabis in a negative light, regardless of what the data show. None of the documents indicated that officials are seeking data that show cannabis consumption and legalization laws, which have been approved in eight states, serve any public benefit or do a better job of reducing drug abuse.”
In defense, the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee said that their agency is created to warn the President about the threats of cannabis consumption.
In the past, he showed his support for the states that have created their own cannabis policies. One example would be through Colorado Senator Corey Gardner’s bill that aims to remove the power of the federal laws against cannabis in states where cannabis is legal.
For Senator Gardner, the issue of cannabis laws should be something that is dealt with by state policies because they should be treated as autonomous entities.
Statistics have shown that around 63 percent of U.S. citizens are in favor of the legalization of cannabis for adults, 21 and above.
Furthermore, 80 percent of American citizens support the legalization of medical cannabis. At present, there are already nine states, together with Washington DC that have legalized cannabis use. And there are already almost 30 states with laws that allow medical cannabis for certain conditions.
Although furious with this discovery, the supporters of cannabis legalization believe that the planned compilation of the negative effects of cannabis use will be overturned by hundreds of evidence of its good effects on the economy of the states that have already legalized it and its possible contribution to the decrease of teenage drug use.
Some states like Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have empirical data that shows development on the state’s taxes through legalization reforms and the also have statistics that prove the decrease in the rates of teenage drug use in their jurisdictions.
Senator Dianne Feinstein from California has now shifted her stance on cannabis legalization. From a former legalization opponent, Senator Feinstein now supports the states’ rights to cannabis policy.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Police Department said that they did not see any correlation between cannabis use and driving intoxicated. As a matter of fact, cases of drugged driving have decreased since the plant’s legalization.
Paul Armentano, director for national legalization for NORML, said that he is confident that it will not take long for the committee to fail in its cause.
In his conversation with Leafly a few weeks ago, he said, “It is not a surprise that those wedded to the policy of cannabis criminalization and willing to take any means necessary to try and reverse the course of public opinion.”