George Rohrbacher: Trump Administration Plans To Ramp Up Government Regulation and Stifle New Marijuana Businesses

  • by NORML March 1, 2017

    By George Rohrbacher,
    Former Washington State Senator (R),
    Former NORML board member

    George Rohrbacher

    George Rohrbacher

    The Trump White House statement last week of plans for stricter enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states with newly voter-approved recreational marijuana laws signals Trump’s surprisingly pro-regulation, anti-business, anti-Liberty stance.

    Cannabis prohibition is perhaps one of America’s most onerous forms of government regulation, regulation enforcement that comes with prison time and possible asset confiscation, regulation that has produced over 25,000,000 marijuana arrests. Think about that stunningly gigantic number for a moment. POT PROHIBITION IS GOVERNMENT REGULATION ON STEROIDS!

    Marijuana legalization is the answer, and tens of millions of American voters have said so. They have repeatedly said, “YES”, to cannabis. This “culture war,” brewing for three or four generations, has finally been brought to a head by the voters themselves doing an end-run around the system. Even though we won 8 out of 9 cannabis legalization election efforts this past fall, the Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock.

    As the American voter has taken their cannabis rights back state by state, a new, legal multi-billion dollar cannabis industry has sprung up- bigger, faster and more diversified than anyone expected. The Trump-Sessions Justice Department wants to kill it. Beyond just getting high, new unexpected markets are springing up everywhere, from upscale middle-aged women looking for a non-psychoactive sleep aid (CBD, etc.), to geriatric patients in nursing homes looking for a little more spring in their step, to a non-toxic substitute for prescription painkillers, drastically reducing opioid deaths and use. The markets this industry-in-the-making will service extend from getting-a-buzz-on, to optimum human health, and everything else in between. The Trump Administration has plans to stifle these burgeoning businesses!

    The supposed lines of distinction between the categories of recreational and medical use of marijuana are not recognizable to this cannabis consumer with 48 years of experience. I’ve used pot daily for half-a-century because it makes me feel good. Farming for 40 of those years, my spine has received quite a beating and I’ve used cannabis for the pain of that too. The line between these two uses? Is there one? No, there are none.

    Attorney General Sessions believes that while medical use might be okay sometimes, “recreational use is very, very different” (please cue up a showing of REEFER MADNESS). “Good people do not use marijuana,” Sessions believes. And those bad pot using people, like me, felons all by federal law, deserve to be arrested.

    Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is a Schedule I Drug. This gives our myopic, over-regulating federal government license to treat hemp like heroin. Schedule I Drugs, by their very definition, have no accepted medical use. While at this very same time, according to PubMed, the prohibited cannabis and its many surprisingly active cannabinoids show over 24,000 references in medical studies, half of them done within the last 10 years. This includes a VERY, VERY important clinical trial released just last month, done in England: a randomized, placebo-controlled study that showed cannabinoids effective in controlling blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics. Being that 1 out of 8 American adults suffers from diabetes, a disease with devastating health, societal, and economic costs, one would think that the discovery of an all-natural, non-toxic new treatment option for this horrible disease would be met with a standing ovation from the White House, instead of promises of increased Draconian Government Regulation.

    If President Trump wants to live up to his pre-election rhetoric and take real action on those promises to cut government regulation…. Well, try this: Earth to Trump! Earth to Trump! De-Schedule Marijuana, for God’s sake.

    To maintain their fantasy that marijuana is a dangerous drug and has no medical use while 29 states have legal medical marijuana, the people at the Justice Department who really truly believe that cannabis should be listed as a Schedule I Drug must be smoking something far, far stronger and much more dangerous than pot.

    I’ve worn many hats in my life, the most important: dad, granddad, and husband. Also cattle rancher and farmer, small businessman, state senator and board member of NORML. I’m an active citizen married 47 years to a cannabis-using former school superintendent. I’ve been involved in local and regional land use planning, community development, wildlife and historical preservation. And all these many years those many hats have been sitting on a good-for-nothing, unrepentant pot-head.

    As a farmer, I am by my very definition conservative. I served in the legislature as a Republican, from a party that believes in reducing government regulation and freeing up business to serve America…. And being able to make a profit while doing it!

    Americans across the nation are clamoring: “Tax me, tax me, just please stop arresting me!” Hundreds of millions of new tax dollars to build schools and fix our roads have been generated by legal recreational marijuana sales. The Trump Administration wants to kill this new tax-generating business. Why??? Is it to protect Trump’s buddies at Big Pharma, Big Booze and Big Tobacco who worry about cannabis potentially cutting into their profits? Or is this Trump’s effort to harken back to the Greatness of the Ideas, Beliefs and Failed Policies of Richard Millhouse Nixon?

    In attempting to answer this question: Why? Just run down the list of tried-and-true one-line answers to that question. My favorite is: “BUT, BUT… WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???”

    Yes, a very good question, indeed. It is THE question. It is always, ultimately, about the children. Those 25,000,000 Americans arrested for pot that I mentioned earlier in this piece? Every single last one of them was someone’s child, someone’s grandchild. And many, many of them had children of their own. And the toll on children of color is many times that of whites. Millions of lives have been ruined, and countless families were destroyed by these arrests.

    Yes. Absolutely. It is all about the children. Which is why it is time to end marijuana prohibition.

    Click here to join me in calling upon our members of Congress to join the newly formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus and finally re-legalize marijuana.

    40 responses to “George Rohrbacher: Trump Administration Plans To Ramp Up Government Regulation and Stifle New Marijuana Businesses”

    1. Julian says:

      Hear! Hear! Well written article! Recreation is a form of therapy! What a concept?

      After the betrayal from Libertarian Senators JeffFlake, R-AZ and Rand Paul, R-KY its so refreshing to read some authentic Republican leadership on cannabis reform. Thank you Mr. Rorhbacher. You make me enjoy my weed.

      But as someone who wards off the Trump trolls on this blog (regularly… Im at home with influenza curin up on weed, mugwort, garlic and this blog right now MSimon so dont start with me), and as someone who is proud to work with my state Republican Representative here in Texas, Jason Isaac, who is leading the way on co-sponsoring HB 81 http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19633
      I must be critical of one thing; PLEASE everyone dont waste your fingertips or breath on the sinking Russian submarine this Trump administration has become; Click on the green Act tab on this webpage and let’s focus on our state and federal Congress to reform marijuana law!

      Citizen lobby! Its more than a hobby!

      • Jeedi says:

        This Russia thing is no joke. Ask yourself, why WAS Trump going to leave it to the states; and now, after several of his people mixed up with Russia, and his own unusual fascination, he now wants to do a Nixon drug war? “Stop all drugs!” is what this clown is saying. He is trying to demonize pot and pot users pure and simple. He is going to make marijuana synonymous with gang violence so that he can crack down on his illegal alien problem as well as generate huge amounts thru forfeiture, and a general ramp up of the criminal justice/prison industrial complex. This is his game to boost the economy and give his voters deportation. So where does Russia fit in? Putin HATES marijuana. There will never be medical marijuana in Putin’s Russia. Putin also dictates Christianity and does not believe in gay rights, abortions, and all the other freedoms that LIBERAL democracies enjoy. Right out of the gate Trump gets rid of the transsexual restroom rights. He puts highly religious people in charge of things and a bible thumping vice president who wants to take away planned parenthood and abortions. Sound familiar? It sounds like bleeping Russia! So this Russia interference and worldwide scam by Putin is NOT fake news.

        I know all you Alex Jones and Drudge people will say that Trump is right about CNN. CNN is not anymore fake than infowars! The only difference is the spin. So now you got Trump destroying the credibility of the free press. Where does this sound familiar? Bleeping Russia! That is where they kill journalists if they don’t get the story strait.

        People right now should be emailing and calling their representatives to get Sessions to resign! If he gets caught with this Russia scam he can’t shut down legal marijuana. And remember, Sessions, Putin and all the other religious freaks who want to dictate how to live have bloody hands and feet. And this is attracting all kinds of hungry animals looking to put nature back into balance….

        • Robert T says:

          Guys like Sessions are more demonic than christian. just sayin

          • Jeedi says:

            Karl Marx: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”.

            Just say no to religion; religion is the real drug problem that keeps people low because instead of knowledge they are seeking to be-lie-(ve) themselves by abandoning self responsibility and putting that power in the hands of an imaginary construct. Just say yes to mind expanding, life reflecting marijuana use; and take back your power by being the self responsible engine that nature intended.

        • Anonymous says:

          Demigods need a scapegoat and Pot smokers, LGBT, immigrants,, non-Christians, women, low wage workers, Unions, are among their traditional favorites…
          Distracts people from the fact that he drained the swamp to find rats for his Cabinet.

        • Julian says:

          Oh I didnt say Trump’s ties to Russia were a joke, Jeedi… Even Republicans in the House are demanding his taxes now:


          All I was saying is focus on Congress because Trump is not in a state of mind to help any state of mind, body, out-of-body… or what Im saying is Trump cant even help himself and he needs to be divested and deposed post haste.

          As I expressed in a previous post Trump keeps Trumping his own low standards as he continues to meet with the Russian money launderer Dimitry Ryoblovlev:


          He’s just throwing everyone that supports him under the bus as con men like Trump will do… and lucky us AG Sessions is next.

          • Jeedi says:

            Got it Julian,

            Thanks for the clarity. RIGHT NOW everybody should be emailing and calling their reps about this RUSSIA thing. DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION. Also contact your reps about Trump’s outrageous president Obama wire tap nonsense; call for an investigation here too. Be relentless, keep hitting these people until things start bending our way. It is time to diversify resistance against this crazy administration by hitting Trump and his ilk on issues unrelated to marijuana. CHARGE….

      • MSimon says:

        Well, I’m late to the Party.

        Still. To make thye end of prohibition ironclad convincing more Republicans would be good.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          Don’t worry, MSimon, I’ve been waiting for you. Figured your punk ass would show up again eventually. I’m here to kick your ass.

          And as happens once in a rare while, I agree with you: Convincing more Republicans WOULD be a good thing.

          The problem is, little bitch, Republicans like you have no intention of listening to reason.

          You live in a world of alternative facts, the purpose of which is deception. That’s why I don’t like you — you’re an intransigent liar. Prepare for your ass-beating, MSimon, here it comes:

          MSimon, you and your kind have no interest in being convinced of anything. You are intellectually dishonest. You run away from a robust analysis like a chickenshit, and are too delusional to make sense of a logical argument, in any case.

          Further, your agenda is clear: the promotion of Trump and his white supremacist purging of people of color.

          Your agenda is the promotion of Trump, not cannabis. Your support for cannabis legalization is a front for your Trump propaganda.

          So, once again, screw you, MSimon.

          Hope you enjoyed your ass-beating. Now get the fuck out of here.

    2. JoeForIt says:

      Enough is enough – Time to storm the castle…

    3. JoeForIt says:

      C’mon Congress ? It’s time to take a stand and END Federal Marijuana prohibition once and for all !!!

    4. Frank Stenosis says:

      Hats off in a deep bow, Mr. Rohrbacher, well said!

      This madness has to stop, not at some point in the future….exactly NOW! How dare these deeply grafted politicians think they can decide that we MUST use a deadly pharma capsule rather than a homegrown free remedy!

      I, too, suffer from severe spinal issues, but very unfortunately live in the so-called commonwealth of Virginia. I’ve written every legislator I could find in an attempt at pleading the case for the proven pain relief I know exists in that plant. Zero responses. I’ve met with reps in person….blank stares followed by excuses. At the same time, a simple search of these same legislators shows their chief campaign contributors are universally big pharma, followed by the liquor, wine and beer industries. Go figure. It’s a criminal syndicate and like all crime families they’re all doing quite well. When I read just today that Trump and his handlers have a “happy hour” regularly to hash out future plans, I couldn’t help but think how twisted this system is.

      One thing I know for sure…these imposters will be overwhelmed to say the least when they attempt to set up a police state around existing state legal cannabis platforms. They’ll probably send in the troops, showing just how determined they are to stifle these programs. They won’t stand a chance. Peace will win the day – eventually.

    5. Miles says:

      I salute George Rohrbacher for this article. I agree with it 100%. It is outrageous that the federal govt refuses to do the will of the people and instead choosing to steal from them and lock them up. This is absolutely not my idea of America!!!

      Had I know all of this as a young 17 year old when I joined the USMC, thus risking my life, to serve this country that I would be serving the greedy cold-hearted racists (like Jeffrey Sessions among others) that make the laws here.

      I wouldn’t do it again.

    6. Mark Mitcham says:

      We weren’t all of us surprised by this behavior on Trump’s part. Some of us understood all along that his run for the Presidency was pure scam, and never about public service, and all about personal self-enrichment.

      And so far, it’s been my worst-case scenario unfolding ever since the election. I’d like very much for that trend to end!

      To that end, I am contacting my representative regularly. I attend protests when I can!

    7. Mike Securo says:

      Our Creator gave us certain INALIENABLE rights (not the Declaration, not the Bill of Rights..they just codified the fact)…of which are the individual’s right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We the People gave government the right to make laws which PROTECT our right to L, L and the PoH, not to RESTRICT them….unless our exercise of infringe upon the rights of other Free People. Therefor, any law prohibiting ANYTHING that doesn’t interfere with another’s rights are ILLEGAL! Our whole system of law was created to PROTECT our Freedom! Who the hell is the government to take away our freedoms? They haven’t been given the authority or power by the People to tread on our Freedom. In essence its like me knocking on my neighbor’s door and putting them in shackles because they spend too much time rocking on their porch chair. It’s none of my business. And what I choose to own, use, sell, share, grow or build is none of government’s business.
      Our whole system has become tyrannical and Sessions is the biggest buffoon of them all.
      We need to RISE UP and not take this anymore!!!!

    8. Mike Securo says:

      We need to demand an answer to this fundamental question from our government:

      What document conveys the authority from the People to the People’s representatives to make laws prohibiting personal freedoms?

      I’ve written 2 congressmen and one senator and the answer I received was crickets.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Mike Securo,
        Yeah. That will piss you off. And when you do get a response, it’s either one gigantic “fuck you, I’m gonna do what I want” or, something so vague and meaningless, you just know your being bullshitted.

        That was a big problem for me. What to do now? I wondered. My so-called “representative” just told me to go fuck myself. Now what?

        Well, as part of an ongoing education on these matters, I stopped taking the content of the letters quite as personally. I learned that they count the calls, and make decisions based on that (maybe), but that my letter was just another increment on a count on that particular issue. But I’ll admit, the rude and condescending return letters were a shock to me, too!

        Then, I figured, why not fight fire with fire, and send THEM LOTS of form letters, make THEM eat it!! I started sending more form letters back at them! So, might I suggest:


        Give ’em hell!

        • Jeedi says:

          They are getting hell;) I would imagine our representatives are getting hammered with pro-marijuana. Marijuana is probably the BIGGEST issue they are getting in their inboxes, and phone calls. This is why you are seeing so much Fed marijuana law bills and acts now. These people are getting swamped by this issue; and on the other hand many don’t know how to handle it so they are pretending it will go away. I know myself, I have contacted my reps more this year than I ever have. These people are GONNA hear from me ALL THE TIME. And I suggest that everyone here do the same, as well as get their family and friends to hammer these people. We are going to win. Trump and his ilk are a disease that will destroy themselves.

        • Gary says:

          My congressman thanked me for my view. Then he said his stance on cannabis will not change. He said “marijuana is a dangerous, addictive gateway drug that cannot be legalized.” His name is Andy Harris (R-MD), the anti legalization big time prohibitionist. Harris is the reason DC has no regulated cannabis market. Rep. Harris also want to close the DC cannabis “gifting” loophole.

    9. TheOracle says:

      Thank you for this great read!

      Congress needs to do something before April.


      If cannabis is not removed from the CSA, then the grumpy Trumpies will see that as weakness. And, predatory as they are if you let the protections expire this April they will see that as further weakness on the part of the cannabis community, and then they will unleash the federal dawgz.


      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Yeah. The way these duplicitous fuckers speak, I take all this to mean, not that they support a “hands off” approach to state marijuana legalization (that’s the deception), but that actually they support the imminent expiration of the Cole Memo, and the remainder of our legal protections. They support the “green light” to crackdown which, legally, they will have at that point in time.

        This would be misleading on their part, of course, but, nothing new about that!

    10. Jeedi says:

      These old excuses for a drug war have been lost in debates years ago. Legal marijuana outlets, dispensaries should be having their patients and customers e-mail and call their representatives. This madman Trump can try and demonize marijuana by resurrecting an already failed Reagan drug war but there are literally millions of legal consumers who are NOT going back to “just say no.” This means protests when bust occur at our dispensaries; and going to comment sections and yelling about the travesty.

      Many people still think marijuana is the devil. They also think it is unhealthy like smoking cigarettes. This momentum from the drug war years of the past can be resurrected pretty easily unless folks stand up. I for one am going to stand up. I am not going back into the closet. I challenge any so-called authoritarian like Trump who would try to demonize marijuana by making us out as unhealthy, sick fools; and only the sick and dying should be subjected to the “dangers” of marijuana. The stereo type of the dead end stoner must be stopped! I have used marijuana most of my life. Like George I have been successful in life. A role model of excellence and success as an accomplished athlete; and to this day I mountain bike about 100 miles per week, medicated with marijuana. And I am tearing up the trail even with all my past injuries. I do not eat junk food. I do not take pharma. I take a host of natural supplements. I lead a spiritual life. I drive a car that gets 45mpg, I recycle. I go out of my way to think of the planet and my fellow human being.

      I am damned if some orange nut, who is bloated up on junk food, abuses women, racist xenophobe, who is alarming populations of people, is going to make me out as “a criminal”. I doubt anybody else here is going to stand for it either. We got Trump red handed. We have the truth.

      • Anonymous says:

        FYI, “red handed” is a racist term. I’m sure you’re unaware of it like most people, but it is a term created that insinuates that Native American Indians are criminals.

        • Jeedi says:

          No disrespect to Native Americans intended. My “red handed” comment has nothing to do with this racism, but rather red being the color of blood. Trump and his ilk are bleeding like wounded prey. And as we see in nature, the weak in the herd are sacrificed so that the strong in the herd continue. This is the way of nature and reality. All I am doing is trying to turn the predators away from us (strong nature, mother nature marijuana), and turn them to the bleeding and diseased that are against this same nature.