STORIES

Is Trump About to Destroy the Cannabis Industry?

By Jeff Siegel on February 27, 2017

Yesterday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the press that he believes we’ll soon see greater enforcement of federal laws against recreational cannabis. Apparently the Trump Administration is fine with medical cannabis, but not so much with adult-use. Check it out…

“There’s a big difference between [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana, and I think when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people.”

Because yes, allowing adults to consume cannabis clearly encourages people to abuse opioids. And by the way, most of those opioid addictions are associated with the use of LEGAL drugs.

Folks, I couldn’t make this kind of nonsense up if I tried.

Interestingly, Trump’s other tool—who’s now running the Department of Justice (DOJ)—is one of the most outspoken prohibitionists of our time. During a taxpayer-funded Senate hearing, Sessions actually said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Here’s a clip of Session's comment in case you think this is just a media lie designed to hurt Trump’s feelings.

Sessions is the guy who’s probably itching to shut down an industry that has created hundreds of thousands of jobs because “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” At one point, he even supported mandatory death penalties for a second cannabis-selling conviction

This is the guy who’s actually looking forward to shutting down an industry that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues for individual states at a time when government budget shortfalls are as common as Donald Trump tweets about how the media is mean to him.

You know, Donald Trump convinced millions of people that he was going to make America great again. But you can’t make this country great if you destroy jobs and trample states’ rights. “Greater enforcement” of federal cannabis laws will do just that. But rest assured, dear reader, I, and millions of other people in this country will not accept even a sliver of federal thug bullying on this issue. Bottom line: If you fuck with states that legalized cannabis, you’ll be fucking with people’s money.

To quote the immortal words of Big Worm from the cinema classic Friday, “Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions.”

There’s a lot of money at stake here, and nobody in the industry is taking this lightly. Here are just a few quotes that were sent within hours of the announcement:

Christie Strong, Marketing Communications Manager of Kiva Confections

Over 60 percent of Americans supports cannabis legalization. It is one of the few bipartisan issues that actually has the potential to unite us right now. Our country and many of our citizens are still recovering from the devastation of a failed Drug War—it would be a crime to waste any more resources prohibiting adult access to this safe, effective medicine.

Steve Gormley, CEO of Seventh Point LLC

Sean Spicer's comments on recreational marijuana seem to be a disturbing departure from Trump's purported position on States' rights. We will have to see how this plays out. I suspect this issue will end up being litigated at the Supreme Court.  Let's not forget, however, this is the same guy who falsely reported on the attendance on the inauguration.

Jeffrey Zucker, President of Green Lion Partners

The comments from Secretary Spicer are ignorant and disappointing, although not unexpected. The cannabis industry will fight any pressure from the federal government to set back the significant progress that's been made thus far. The incredibly positive medical, social and economic impact cannabis legalization has had on regulated states is undeniable. Singling out the Adult-Use market is short-sighted. Perhaps most importantly, it's ignoring the will of the people, which national polls now show are in favor of full legalization. Offering safe and regulated cannabis serves to eliminate the illegitimate market and racial disparity in enforcement. I hope that the administration takes the time to truly immerse and educate themselves on cannabis before making any destructive decisions.

Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech

Today's news coming out of the administration regarding the adult use of cannabis is, of course, disappointing. We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states' rights in the same manner they have on several other issues. The economic impact, job creation and tax collection associated with both medical and recreational legalization have been tremendous throughout the country. We hope the new administration really takes the time to understand that the money is either going into the state coffers or making its way to drug cartels. We also hope that the states make a point of defending their independence in regards to this and protect their constituents.

Isaac Dietrich, CEO of MassRoots

Colorado is one of the only states in the nation that is seeing a decline in opioid deaths—that's not a coincidence. Cannabis is a healthy alternative to pain pills and heroin, not a gateway to it. I have a feeling our stock is going to take a beating tomorrow, but that just creates an opportunity for investors who believe in the long-term trajectory of the cannabis market. As a medical-cannabis focused app, I believe MassRoots will actually benefit from this policy as it will cut off funding for our competitors.

Danny Davis, Managing Partner of Convectium 

We are hopeful that Mr. Spicer’s comments are not representative of the entire administration. Many of the states who helped elect President Trump just voted to also support recreational marijuana; it is hard to imagine that he would push an agenda with the support ratings where they are.  As an equipment company we represent both the recreational and medicinal markets, but we would hate to see an action that would stop the current multi-state momentum for recreational.

Jeff Siegel is publisher and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a prolific newsletter that guides both industry insiders and investment novices on socially conscious investing, which includes alternative energy, agriculture and cannabis. Trump art by Clark

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