“Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”“[Marijuana] is a very real danger.”“We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”
That vagueness has left many legal marijuana businesses (and their attorneys) confused and worried about the future. While these businesses enjoyed rapid growth under President Obama’s administration, it is unclear what will happen under the new administration. Yes, Trump has said, “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.” But he changed his tone when being questioned by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, at which time he did not seem to support Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry. He stated broadly, “[Legal pot] is causing a lot of problems out there,” and had said about Colorado’s “problem” at a Nevada campaign rally, “I really think we should study Colorado, see what’s happening.”
The perspectives of organizations on either side of the legalization issue don’t seem to shed any light as to the future of marijuana businesses: perplexingly, they are both optimistic. Mason Tvert, director of communications for the legalization group Marijuana Policy Project, is hopeful because of the many congressional representatives who have changed from anti-pot to pro-pot. Tvert stated, “[I]n terms of marijuana policy, things are better than ever — both at state and federal levels.” And, on the other side of the issue, Kevin Sabet, co-founder of anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, confidently has stated, “President-elect Trump has promised to be a law-and-order president. I’m feeling much better [about the prospect of prohibition] than I thought I might.”
So what can the marijuana businesses in the 28 states and Washington, DC expect? Unclear. Only time (and more cabinet appointments, maybe) will tell.
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