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. carl vagg says:

      a voice of sanity..

      cbd’s in cannabis are real god given
      medicine and brain food..
      despite what any pro-blackmarket supporter
      may think or say..


    2. csaaphill says:

      It’s not and never has been about the children. I find it’s about the adults who don’t like legal marijuana and use that as a scapegoat. Same as Obama’s Gun control garbage. It was never about the kids it’s about Politics and Utopian garbage.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Gun lobby? Oh hell no. Don’t start that, or I’ll have to start in on toddlers with guns. That’s just about everybody that owns one.

        Like Tom Hanks said on Saturday Night Live: “Drop it!”

    3. dave says:

      I wrote a letter to Trump, a few of them..
      With all the reasons all cannabis people know about.. .. and one way of seeing it that some don’t see with Trump.
      Trump likes to be the “one Guy” that can get something done that others just can’t seem to.

      For example the skating rink in NYC that was under construction for 6 years, Trump got it done in 5 months.

      My point to Trump was that he could be that “one guy” that could get this done and as a result be a nationwide hero as well as a world-wide freedom fighter for the people.
      We never know, but he ‘could’ actually get a Nobel prize for civil rights.

      We all know that the stroke of the president’s pen can remove cannabis from the list without even talking about ‘legalization’, it’s a ‘states rights issue’ and leave ti at that.

    4. Dain Bramage says:

      Thought for the day: Regarding the Cole Memo, Trump supporters do not get to blame President Obama and the Democrats for not doing more to protect us from… Trump. That’s illogical bullshit.

      Some Progressives and Democrats may wish to make the case that Obama wasn’t progressive enough. Others on the political left will be grateful for the singular tolerance he showed toward the legalization movement during his two terms in office.

      And, naturally, Trump cultists will try to rub that division on the left into liberal’s faces. Standard operating procedure.

      But the Trump cultists don’t get to make that particular claim themselves. “Period.” “.”

    5. Bren Harrison says:

      The answer to the question is that law enforcement is using prohibition to run a scam on the people, the police and drug enforcement people are makeing their livelyhood and WELL BEING of of an undercover drug cartels across america. They incorporate specified police protected drug dealers to manufacture and distribute the marijuana to our children in schools and everywhere else so as to increase a need to hire more police officers, more arrests, more private prisons, more money for the lawyers, it’s like a rolling ball of greed that’s on fire and they do not want their money perpetuating fireball of greed to be doused by any measures of legalization so they can continue running their scam against the will of the people. The military and veterans are also involved. It’s all a big scam and it needs to be stopped. Jeff Sessions has even lied under oath in the congressional hearings and deserves to be sentenced for that alone, Sessions is a racist and has prohibitionist beliefs of the days of “Reefer Madness”. Trump is also a liar and is a disgrace to the American nation and should also be impeached for trying to undermine the people of this nation. End Prohibition, legalize cannabis and get cannabis out of the hands of the cruel greedy government cartels being run by the state agencies.

    6. fireweed says:

      the other “whataboutthechildren” answer is that with legal access comes accountability. Street dealers don’t check id’s but licensed establishments do.

    7. St. Nick n Dime says:

      Forrest Trump. He just… felt like running?! Sometimes, things in life just don’t make no sense? We got involved in some fruit company… Well, we don’t have to worry about money no more. Marihuana and prison go together like peas and carrots!

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Some comedian once said, “If only Trump had gone into porn, instead of politics. Then everything would have made sense.”

    8. Gary says:

      I’m fairly sure he didn’t know that. I didn’t know where the phrase “caught red handed” came from.

      I had a sinking feeling about Trump on election night. Many that voted for him will never admit their mistake. To those who voted for Trump because they thought he’d “let the states decide,” well, you’ve been Trumped!

    9. Gary says:

      Oh, and besides Sessions another one to have to worry about is HHS Secretary Tom Price, a man dead set against Medical cannabis. He’s also opposed to opioid therepy, by the way. So Price will do for medical what Sessions to recreational. And take away many peoples pain meds. These people are diabolical and sadistic.

    10. Latricia says:

      Great advice, parctiularly about the commute. I know I spent one of my first years out of college in a gorgeous apartment, but I lived so far away from where I needed to be that I was constantly stressing out about the commute.

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