Buzzfeed broke the story today that the Trump administration has been waging a secret war on marijuana, aiming to "portray the drug as a national threat," regardless of what the amassing scientific evidence shows about the plant's medicinal qualities:
The White House has secretly amassed a committee of federal agencies from across the government to combat public support for marijuana and cast state legalization measures in a negative light, while attempting to portray the drug as a national threat, according to interviews with agency staff and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, as it’s named in White House memos and emails, instructed 14 federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration this month to submit “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana and the “threats” it poses to the country.
In an ironic twist, the committee complained in one memo that the narrative around marijuana is unfairly biased in favor of the drug. But rather than seek objective information, the committee’s records show it is asking officials only to portray marijuana in a negative light, regardless of what the data show.
In one meeting summary, the need to portray marijuana badly was described as being "urgent," for unspecified scientific or medical reaons:
“Staff believe that if the administration is to turn the tide on increasing marijuana use there is an urgent need to message the facts about the negative impacts of marijuana use, production, and trafficking on national health, safety, and security.”
This deeply troubling behavior comes as no surprise to those who immediately saw a huge threat to Marijuana from a potential Trump administration in 2016. With the appointment of the virulently anti-cannabis Jeff Session as Attorney General when Trump came to power, most sane observers of American politics knew this was coming.
But not so to the "both sides" chorus who maintained with straight faces that Hillary Clinton would have been "just as bad" as Donald Trump on marijuana. Figures like Joe Rogan pointed to a leaked Hillary Clinton email where she stated she was against Marijuana legalization in "every sense of the word". Susan Sarandon famously refused to vote for Clinton in the general election because of her refusal to outright support legalization. They of course neglected to mention the fact that in several other leaked emails, Clinton remained completely open to (and ever positive towards) marijuana legalization, then took an official stance on it during the campaign stating she would leave states to decide on the plant's recreational use and support. Trump on the other hand, had no official policy. Those familiar with Republican politics knew however, that the people Trump would surround himself with would go after marijuana use with a vengeance.
Now we know for certain that the Trump administration is not only terrible on marijuana, but actively trying to deceive the American public by presenting only one side of the data. It is true that marijuana use can have negative side effects, but the same can be said of virtually any substance we use, from caffeine to alcohol and salt. Marijuana has shown great promise in alleviating all sorts of medical ailments and could even be greatly effective in treating cancer.
Unfortunately, the science is going to be hamstrung by an administration that has no interest in science, and puts politics ahead of people's wellbeing. Marijuana could potentially help millions of people who suffer on a daily basis, but there is an uphill battle fighting the stigma attached to it from decades of insane fear mongering. The American government was, under Obama, finally pulling itself out of the Dark Ages, and looking at the actual evidence. But now we can kiss all that goodbye.
And in the hopes that the libertarians and far leftists listen to reason in the upcoming elections, you now know that Hillary Clinton would not have been "just as bad", so please don't fuck this up again.