The marijuana industry has been on pins and needles since Jeff Sessions was selected by Trump as the U.S. Attorney General for the United States. Trump’s stance on marijuana policy hasn’t really been considered, until now. It seems he’s been too busy with other aspects of ruling the country – and I’m sure you know what I mean. Still, the cannabis industry is taking the no news as good news, and continuing to do the good work they were doing with cannabis before the election, including research, regulation, and the adoption of recreational cannabis in four more states. In preparation, an announcement came out that President Trump has selected a national group of district attorneys to advise him on cannabis policy and law in the future.
Who is Advising Trump on Marijuana Policy & Law?
A group of 14 district attorneys from all over the United States (Colorado, California, and Oregon are all represented) have created a policy group which will advise the President through the Justice Department on issues related to cannabis. Colorado is represented by District Attorney Stan Garnett (in his third term) of Boulder and Tom Raynes (executive director of Colorado’s District Attorney’s Council); the National District Attorney’s Association (NDAA) wants to have “a fairly balanced committee, which will be largely advising on what our policy position should be,” said Garnett. Although a full list of which representatives from which states are on the committee is still unavailable, Garnett noted that it is “a conservative group,” adding that he felt it was necessary to add his less-conservative thoughts to the group’s recommendations. Thank you, Garnett. Garnett noted that he is usually more liberal than others concerning marijuana, and noted that Colorado’s industry has been largely beneficial to the state with hardly any increase in crime.
What Happened at the First NDAA Meeting on Marijuana?
Garnett stated that his involvement (and I assume that of other liberal District Attorneys) is necessary to balance out the conservative stance of those DAs from states like Missouri or South Carolina. Garnett stressed the importance of local control of marijuana policy and state rights, and said the 10-day-old policy group is still trying to agree on a general approach. At the first meeting, members of more marijuana-conservative states wanted to send a letter to all state governors asking them to shut down all marijuana businesses within 90 days. Garnett and others were the voice of reason, speaking out against that idea as “particularly unrealistic and ill-advised.” Thanks, Stan Garnett. (I sure hope there are more liberal-minded members of the committee than conservative-minded members, don’t you?) Although different representatives are working for each state, and their views may differ as well, all members of the group agree on three concepts which must be regulated by the industry and guaranteed as marijuana legalization expands:
Keeping marijuana out of the hands of children
Prevention of impaired driving
Curbing black market sales of marijuana
Since the industry has been working on these things since its inception, it looks like the marijuana industry will not be derailed by the current administration. (I wonder if Trump is looking at any marijuana investments, yet?) Garnett noted that Sessions would receive the NDAA group’s recommendations when he is confirmed.
What Will Trump Decide on Cannabis Policy?
As with so many other major decisions, we don’t know yet which way Trump or Sessions will go regarding cannabis policy in the United States, but Garnett feels that it’s unlikely they will deny the green rush. Raynes noted that it’s time for a national marijuana law and policy group to be established anyway – with over half of states passing medical marijuana laws and more and more passing recreational laws, he’s probably right. As more information comes out and decisions are made, MassRoots will keep you posted.