President Donald Trump may have thrown a bone to the horde of progressives stressed by his administration and clamoring for his impeachment.

He has signaled that his is open to supporting the end of the federal ban on marijuana.

President Trump said he likely will support a congressional effort to end the federal ban on marijuana, a major step that would reshape the pot industry and end the threat of a Justice Department crackdown.

Trump’s remarks put him sharply at odds with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on the issue. The bill in question, pushed by a bipartisan coalition, would allow states to go forward with legalization unencumbered by threats of federal prosecution. Sessions, by contrast, has ramped up those threats and has also lobbied Congress to reduce current protections for medical marijuana.

Trump made his comments to a gaggle of reporters Friday morning just before he boarded a helicopter on his way to the G-7 summit in Canada. His remarks came the day after the bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed their measure.

The measure has bipartisan support.

The proposal introduced Thursday has support from members of Congress from both parties, including Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.

“I support Senator Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing,” Trump told reporters in Washington, when asked about the legislation. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

Interestingly, California has the world’s largest legal recreational marijuana economy, which is projected to grow to $7 billion in revenues. If the Trump administration makes this move, there are some lessons-learned that might be valuable.

First, California had to cut taxes on legal pot to compete with the illegal variety.

Marijuana taxes in California would drop substantially for three years under an Assembly bill introduced Thursday.

The legislation would cut the marijuana sales tax rate from 15 percent to 11 percent, and suspend all cultivation taxes, until June 2021.

Assemblymen Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, and Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, said they authored the bill as a way to reduce the price gap between licensed cannabis businesses and black market sources while giving the regulated market a chance to take hold.

“We need to give legal businesses some temporary tax relief so they do not continue to be undercut by the black market,” Lackey said in a statement.

If only they would apply such strategic thinking to the rest of our economy!

Next, there has been a substantial uptick in the number of drug-related DUI arrests.

The California Highway Patrol tells KRON4 compared to last year, marijuana arrests in the Bay Area will be up 70 percent by the end of this year.

“We know the law is over 21 to use recreational marijuana but driving under the influence is not. Never has been. Never will be,” CHP Officer Brandon Correia said.

KRON4 got new numbers from the CHP on the number of people arrested driving while high.

This year, during January, February, and March across the nine Bay Area counties, there have been 87 marijuana-related DUI arrests. That is compared to 190 for all of last year.

Finally, some state hospitals have reported a dramatic increase in emergency room visits related to marijuana.

“There has been a huge surge since the beginning of this year in patients coming to the emergency room with acute cannabis intoxication,” said Dr. Ashraf Ismail, medical director of the psychiatry department at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.

…The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development is keeping tabs on marijuana-related hospital visits. And during the first year after the passage of Prop. 64 — which allowed adults 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants per home as of Nov. 9, 2016 — the agency reports the number of hospital visits for “cannabis poisoning” rose 28 percent to 6,887 visits in 2017.

However, for now, many people are excited about the possibility of legalizing pot at the national level.

Perhaps as they mellow out with marijuana, the incidents of Trump Derangement Syndrome among progressives will decrease? It will be interesting to observe the long-term reaction.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.