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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Voters in California, the largest US state and on its own the 6th largest economy in the world, have just legalised cannabis for recreational use in a historical ballot – as did Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine – joining the states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, and Washington D.C. California marks the latest and largest step in a ‘domino effect’ that clearly marks the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition, not just in the US, but globally. But could Trump jeopardise this progress?

    What makes California significant is its sheer size and political influence– it has a total population of over 38 million people and the 6th largest economy in the world. To put that into perspective, Canada (which is also legalising cannabis) has a population of 35 million people and is the 10th largest global economy.

    The US federal government cannot ignore an event that calls into question US federal drug laws, particularly relating to cannabis, but potentially also for other drugs if cannabis regulation is ultimately deemed a success. Outgoing President Barack Obama recognised this reality when he said recently, “The Justice department, DEA, FBI — for them to try to straddle and try to figure out how they’re supposed to enforce some laws in some places and not in others, that is not going to be tenable”

    Eight states and D.C. now have legal adult access to cannabis for non-medical recreational use, covering almost 70 million people. It is only a matter of time before more US states begin the process of legalising cannabis and denying organized crime of the proceeds. With the last Mexican President Calderon having said his country would have to follow suit if California legalised, Canada’s and Uruguay’s legal markets opening soon, and countries like Spain and the Netherlands with their own de facto legal markets, the question globally is no longer “Should we legalise and regulate cannabis?” but rather “How do we legalise and regulate cannabis?”

    There is a potential problem: President-elect Donald Trump

    On the same day that California voted to legalise cannabis, the rest of the nation also voted to elect Trump as the 45th President of the United States. It’s too early to determine what the Trump Administration means for US, and indeed global drug policy, but we can certainly judge what he has said in the past, and hope that he respects the ‘will of the people’ and honours rather than opposes California’s decision to legalise cannabis.

    And in 1990, Trump argued that the only way to win the war on drugs was to legalise them and use the tax revenue to fund drug education programs. In his words, "You have to take the profit away from these drug czars." And he pledged to respect state marijuana laws at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year. However, a number of senior individuals in his likely administration, including Rudy Guiliani, Chris Chritie, as well as Vice President Mike Pence are arch opponents of cannabis regulation.

    So as with so much else in the Trump policy platform, there is little clarity and no one can predict which way Trump will go on this issue. That said, a green tide of reform is sweeping across the US and the globe - and as the success of these innovations spreads - so it seems inevitable that the dominoes will keep falling – even if one or two fall a little more slowly than they might have.

    We will be sending Trump’s team a copy of our new book ‘How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide’ – which includes California’s new model. If you would like a print or free pdf copy please visit: www.tdpf.org.uk/resources/publications/how-regulate-cannabis-practical-guide

    Transform/Nov. 19, 2016
    Photo montage: 1- Patch; 2-the salute-Quora; 3-calif. weed, the Guardian
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Alfa
    If Trump will indeed appoint Rudy Giuliani as his Attorney General the its likely that Federal law will be enforced upon states. Giuliani is a hardliner who has in the past promised to keep prosecuting and jailing medical marijuana users despite state laws. Not to mention recreational users.

    We will see what happens.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    I agree with you, Alfa. If we could politically manage to force the hand of "pitbull Giuliani" into applying US Federal Law to what is now American marijuana smoker's right to smoke weed doing so may go a long way in taking some of the sting out of this week's terrifying election results. Not all of the sting, but some.

    Personally, I cannot help but worry that Trump supporters will spend much of the coming four years of his presidency fighting to denounce weed legalization and attempting to squash our hard-won cannabis rights. How, I'm not sure yet, but the why is obvious, since he and his people do not directly support drug use in any way, shape or form.

    I wish I had something more positive to add to my current state of dismay but I do not.
  3. CaptainTripps
    This is problematic to say the least. The worst thing about Trump is the fascists and nut jobs he has surrounded himself with. Considering he knows little about governing, he is likely to look to his advisors. That would spell doom to legal pot. Keep in mind as I have been saying, legalization at the national level is at least a decade or two away. But tolerance has already happened. That being said, here is the bright side.

    1. Trump is not a republican. He is an independent who ran as a republican. He is also a narcissist who hates criticism and loves adoration. Many Trump supporters use marijuana and expect him to live up to what he said. He will probably get little blow back from the population for maintaining tolerance in spite of his law and order rhetoric. I have drawn parallels between Trump and the ayatollah during the Iranian revolution where the commentators often said that he was not leading the crowds but rather following them. Trumps policies come from a certain pragmatism rather than ideology. He will do what he thinks will work. Going against states rights and the will of the majority of Americans is not very pragmatic. He is supposed to be creating jobs, not taking them away.

    2. Trump is not broadly supported by his own adopted party. In many cases to get legislation done he may very well have to reach across the isle, especially in the senate. He is already saying entitlements (other than expanded Medicaid under Obama care) are going to be safe under his regime. That is kind of a holy grail with folks like Paul Ryan, who strongly supports entitlement reform. Trump prides himself as being his own man.

    3. He has so many promises to try and keep that he wont have time to deal with this issue. His border plan is going to take a lot of agents, my guess his drug enforcement priorities will be at the border. Very high profile, but at the same time not very controversial. Most Americans don't want drugs freely flowing across the southern boarder, especially meth and heroin. The legalization states will support stopping the pot too. Mexican weed will hurt their tax base. This is also very cost effective and money has to come from somewhere.

    4. Trump wants to be remembered fondly. Going against the will of the vast majority of millennials will help insure a sour place in the history books that will be written by them. The future is in their hands, not old angry white guys. He wants to be president of all the people, here is his chance. All he has to do is just keep saying..."let the states decide, I think it is a mistake, but let the states decide, that is what federalism is about". Now is time to start taking selfies wearing a Make America Great Again hat, while having a doobie hanging out of your mouth. ;)

    5. Normally off year elections are bad for the party in power. Trump is going to be very busy with a lot of things these first two years. This is also his testing ground for those who say, give him a chance. If the demonstrations last night are any indication, the left is already motivated to get control of congress in 2018. If that happens, he will have a failed presidency or at least one where Mr. Change gets nothing done but destroy the Supreme Court.

    I was actually kind of sad seeing the protests against the election of Trump. The peaceful transition of power is a blessing. We should be proud of that. That being said, the polices he has put forth are worthy of criticism. But it is important for us to focus on the issues not the personality. So we should give him his chance to make change and see what he does with that chance. He obviously needs a lesson in how government works or quite often does not work. Take for example his criticism of Hillary for not changing everything when she was an all powerful US Senator. He is really going to have to pick his battles unless he wants to be nothing more than a hugely motivating factor in a massive move to the left in this country. I have to wonder how many of those "principled" supporter of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein feel now. :( Because if you assume that most of the Johnson supporters and virtually all the Stein supporters would prefer Hillary to The Donald, then it was they who made him the next president of America. Those that were saying, there is no difference between the two are in for a rude awakening.

    Elections have consequences.
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