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What Would Happen if Trump Cracked Down on Marijuana?

The American people have a right to know the dangers President Donald Trump's current stance on marijuana pose to the future of not only a thriving market but also the American people on the whole.

By Anthony GramugliaPublished 7 years ago 7 min read
Image by Jose Luis Magana/AP

On February 23rd 2017, Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump's Secretary of State, took to the podium to declare that the government had every intent on cracking down on recreational marijuana use.

This press conference displays President Trump's disregard for historical precedence. It displays disgust toward a growing industry that has successfully created jobs. It spreads misinformation about a recreational substance that causes less bodily harm than alcohol, McDonalds, and processed meats.

President Trump's current stance on marijuana is not only ignorant of the reality, but it's also incredibly dangerous. The American people have a right to know the dangers President Donald Trump's current stance on marijuana pose to the future of not only a thriving market but also the American people on the whole.

No, Marijuana is Not the Devil's Lettuce

Art by Chris Garofalo

Ever since the release of Reefer Madness, the American public has demonstrated a gross misunderstanding of marijuana. Few really understand the impact marijuana has on the body. It often is grouped together with other drugs, like opioids (which are legal). Sean Spicer in his press release grouped them together in a similar fashion.

The president understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing, especially terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them.
There's a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. I think that when you see the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we need to abide by in terms of when it comes to recreational marijuana.

This is wrong. For many reasons.

First off, opioids are highly addictive, cause respiratory depression (difficulty breathing), nausea, and paranoia in the short term. In the long term, they cause dependence, constipation, liver damage, and brain damage. They are among the most abused drugs in the country because all you need to get them is a prescription at CVS. Oh, and they are chemically addictive.

Marijuana does none of this. Studies show that smoking weed does not affect your lungs the way that smoking cigarettes would. Of course, smoking is just one way of using cannabis, as it can be eaten.

Studies show that marijuana can be addictive, but it is not chemically addictive as opioids or nicotine are. Its effects on the body are comparable to alcohol consumption, which, once again, is legal.

And, on that note, statistics prove that, while smoking and driving can be dangerous, there are far fewer accidents caused by being high while driving than there are from drinking and driving or texting and driving.

And, despite what the Reagan Administration insisted, no, cannabis is not a gateway drug.

Comparing marijuana to opioids is irresponsible at best and an outright lie at worst.

Businesses Will Crumble

To many who lived through President Reagan's War on Drugs back in the 80s, this may appear to be a return to an era where the President clamped down on "moral transgressions" like drugs. "Oh, he isn't talking about medical marijuana," Trump Voter Jeff may say, "He's just attacking those pot head punks."

What Trump Voter Jeff may not realize is that the 80s are long dead. Marijuana isn't dealt on street corners anymore. It has become a thriving business. GW Pharmaceuticals, a company known for selling medical marijuana, closed at $124 a share the same day that Trump's anti-marijuana stance was announced. The day before Trump's announcement, it was priced at $126. A week prior? $130.

INSYS Stock, another major marijuana provider, closed at $12.80 a share that day. It opened that day at over $13.50. And Scotts Miracle-Gro, a company that helps people grow marijuana on their own, dropped that day from over $94 to $92.59.

Across the board, stock in marijuana plummeted because of Trump's announcement. As of this writing, they are still plummeting.

These aren't punks out of a PSA. These are organizations that sell stock, that have been exponentially growing since marijuana's legalization across the country. They offer jobs to Americans, and offer other people the chance to start up their own cannabis-focused companies.

The President's mere word made their stock drop.

Perhaps the stock will be up when you read this. Maybe the companies will come up with some new deal to stay afloat once the President targets their clientele.

But how many businesses are going to be broken against Trump's knee when he pushes down on recreational marijuana users? How will they stay afloat when their customers are attacked by federal agents?

And this is assuming Trump stays the course. There is no saying he won't attack medical marijuana, which studies show may be a far more effective pain killer than opioids, in part because they won't kill the person taking them.

Imagine what more he can do should he enforce it with federal agents, as he intends?

You're Gonna Pay for It

Photo by Alex Wong

Trump's "War on Drugs" is going to cost billions of dollars. The American people will get stuck with the bill.

As with Trump's proposed increase in border security, the American people will need to pay more taxes to pay for supplies, the federal agents' salaries, hiring more federal agents to enforce Trump's nationwide war...

At the end of the day, a lot of money needs to be spent. Estimates range wildly, but most agree it will cost billions every year.

However, unlike border control, which does protect the country from criminals, you are paying federal agents to hunt down people sitting on sofas watching stupid movies with edibles.

Then again, all that money won't matter one iota, because...

History Proves This Never Works

Look back to history:

While it was President Richard Nixon who started the War on Drugs (he admitted to doing marijuana), it was President Ronald Reagan who took the biggest steps to demolish drugs. His administration enacted a zero tolerance policy against drugs.

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act became Reagan's militant action against drugs back in the 80s. It turned the focus away from rehabilitating drug users to punishing them.

And it punished them hard.

The criminals were given a mandatory five years in jail for possession of drugs on them. At minimum. Some people--mostly racial minorities--are still in jail.

Mark Young was arrested in 1991 for being the middle man between a marijuana farmer and a drug dealer. The courts deemed him responsible for possession of an entire marijuana farm he never even touched, and sentenced him to life imprisonment without the chance of parole.

His case is in no way unique. Due to Reagan's incredibly expensive war on drugs, countless people who had never committed a violent crime in their life earned life sentences in prison. And are still in jail.

But this shouldn't be surprising. After all, even from the beginning, the War on Drugs was never about drugs. A Nixon aid admitted that it was all a tactic to attack racial minorities, hippies, and all those individuals who opposed the President's social regime.

And you can bet those people--liberals--will be the target of President Trump's new policies.

Oh, but the best part is this: even after spending billions and billions of dollars and putting countless people in jail, drug related crimes across the board didn't diminish.

If Trump made pot illegal tomorrow, people would still get marijuana, only now, rather than going through billion dollar companies who comply to health regulations, they'd be getting weed from dealers on the street who might lace the marijuana with whatever's under the bathroom sink for all you know.

The War on Drugs President Trump is hoping to revive did not work then, and now, with marijuana as a legitimate business, it will blow up in our faces.

Hypocrisy About States' Rights

Constitution in the National Archives

The day before President Trump pushed his agenda against marijuana, Secretary of Education Besty DeVos announce that the country would no longer offer protection towards the rights of transgendered students. President Obama's policies allowing transgendered children to use bathrooms according to their gender--a thing of the pass. According to The New York Times:

In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”

The Trump Administration, it would seem, does not feel a large population of Americans need federal protection from law makers prejudiced against them. Policies that appeared to significantly decrease teenage suicide rates, it appears, do not have a place in Trump's administration.

You are no doubt wondering what this controversial decision has to do with President Trump's policies on marijuana.


Note the specific phrasing of that prior announcement. The Trump Administration maintains that President Obama overreached its bounds by telling states how to treat this controversial matter.

So human rights are states rights... but marijuana, a matter that has been legalized state-by-state, isn't?

This declaration of a new War on Drugs is a direct overreach of the Executive Branch. By stating that the Federal Government will use Federal force to enact its anti-cannabis policies, President Trump has done the very the thing he claimed President Obama did during his term.

Except instead of bringing hope to countless underprivileged teens and children, our current President aims to undermine a thriving industry, ignore the will of the American people, and return to an oppressive legal system with a track record of failures.

In other words, just another day of the Trump Administration.

controversieshistorylegislationtrumpwhite house

About the Creator

Anthony Gramuglia

Obsessive writer fueled by espresso and drive. Into speculative fiction, old books, and long walks. Follow me at

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