On the same day that Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, proclaimed that it was time to end cannabis prohibition at the federal level, Republican candidate, Donald Trump also took a firm stance on the campaign topic of cannabis in the United States.
Although Trump has recently been open about his support for the medicinal use of marijuana, this is the first time during this presidential race that he has proclaimed his stance on recreational cannabis. At a political rally in Reno, Nevada Trump stated,
“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.”
“Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”
Although those statements sound undeniably supportive, his attitude changed slightly as he continued. Trump elaborated, “And I love Colorado and the people are great, but there’s a question as to how it’s all working out there, you know? That’s not going exactly trouble-free. So I really think that we should study Colorado, see what’s happening.”
Still, statements such as these show that his views have changed dramatically in just four months. In response to a question about legalization in Colorado, at the CPAC conference in June, Trump said,
“I say it’s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about it.”
Trump’s newest comment, supporting each states’ right to choose whether or not to legalize, is slightly more aligned with statements he made during a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the Miami Herald in 1990, where he proclaimed that the War on Drugs was a failure and a joke. During the same speech, Trump said that it was time to legalize all drugs in the United States in order to take profits out of the hands of cartels.
While Trump may not be completely clear as to what he thinks in regards to cannabis, considering that he swears he has never used any form of the plant, it seems as though he may be listening to the majority (85 percent) of Americans who reportedly support full legalization. It will be interesting to watch how his opinions about legalization evolve in the coming months.