Radical Rant: Consider Attorney General Christie and Drug Czar Sabet

Kevin Sabet, Project SAM
Photo by Getty Images

The Democratic and Republican conventions are over. American have less than 100 days to decide who to vote for to become President – Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson or Jill Stein.

For once, the choice of the marijuana voter is made more difficult by the fact that none of the candidates is supportive of maintaining absolute marijuana prohibition.

Trump and Clinton are hovering in that “states’ rights/laboratories of democracy” limbo where they explicitly say they would allow the legal and medical programs in the states to continue and implicitly mean that they aren’t going to open the floodgates on federal legalization anytime soon.

Johnson and Stein are far better, offering a vision of ending federal prohibition and enabling further legalization at the state level. They both, however, suffer from the electoral structure of our Constitution that makes their winning the Oval Office less likely than Peter Dinklage winning American Ninja Warrior.

Sometimes in these situations it’s better to figure out who you absolutely don’t want to win. In this particular situation, that person is Donald Trump.

While Donald Trump has recently said he’s fine with state-level legalization and medical marijuana, he’s also recently said, “In this race for the White House, I am the law and order candidate.”

Sound familiar? “I pledge to you that the new Attorney General will open a new front against the filth peddlers and the narcotics peddlers who are corrupting the lives of the children of this country,” said the 1968 Republican nominee for President. “And to those who say that law and order is the code word for racism, there and here is a reply: Our goal is justice for every American.”

Once elected, Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs as a method to infiltrate and decimate his enemies on the political left and within the civil rights movement.

Trump has also kept by his side the odious governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. You may remember him on the campaign trail saying, “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it, [because] as of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.”

Rumor has it that Trump may select Christie as his Attorney General. Christie is also on Trump’s transition team that will select the secretaries of various cabinet positions, heads of various departments and bureaus, and judges to fill positions on federal district courts, appeals court, and at least one vacancy on the Supreme Court.

You may recall that during the 2008 Presidential race, Barack Obama said, “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.”

Yet it was Barack Obama’s Department of Justice that orchestrated more raids against medical marijuana providers than his predecessor, George W. Bush. That’s because people at DEA and a few US Attorney’s offices still believed in enforcing federal laws.

In his second term, Obama shifted to believing “It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that’s legal.” Yet still, Assistant US Attorney Earl Hicks prosecuted the Kettle Falls Five, state-legal medical marijuana patients growing cannabis in a state where recreational use is made legal.

So that’s what we got from the Department of Justice underlings with a president who has actually smoked pot in his lifetime and says the feds should butt out of state marijuana issues, and an Attorney General’s office that has issued memoranda stating that targeting state-legal marijuana operations should not be a priority.

Imagine what we get under a Trump Presidency (a guy who doesn’t even drink, much less toke) and Attorney General Chris Christie (a guy who viscerally loathes pot smokers)? Who do you think Christie will suggest for heads of the FinCen and FDIC that will decide cannabusiness banking regulations? Or FDA and NIDA that will handle applications to research cannabis? Or EPA and Dept. of Agriculture that will set standards for cannabis pesticides and hempseed importation? Or CDC and NIH that will evaluate the results of legalization on public health? Or NHTSA that will make cannabis and driving recommendations? Or the US Parole Commission that will decide which decades-long pot prisoners get released?

Imagine the new head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Drug Czar Kevin Sabet.

Then wrap your mind around the fact that under President Obama, Republicans in Congress have blocked so many of his judicial nominations that there stand empty 71 seats on federal District Courts, 9 seats on the Courts of Appeals, and of course, 1 seat on the Supreme Court.

Then consider that the 5-4 conservative Supreme Court Trump sets could easily become a 7-2 court, since three Justices will be in the 80s during Trump’s first term. That’s the court that would hear the ultimate appeals for cases on the religious uses of ganja, medical use of cannabis, and whether or not states like Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma can overturn Colorado’s recreational legalization.

So if you’re in one of the so-called “red” or “blue” states (states either Trump or Clinton are guaranteed to win, like California for Clinton and Texas for Trump), maybe you vote for Johnson or Stein to make a protest vote for someone who supports outright legalization.

But if you’re in one of the ten so-called “swing” states that could go either way and upon which this election will be decided (Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania), you should really think long and hard about voting for Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump.

Last week’s Radical Rant: If You Want Legal Marijuana, There’s Only One Candidate to Vote For

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16 comments
  1. Consider States exercising their own laws and policies over MJ, instead of the hypothetical, Donkytard journalistic fear-mongering being pushed in this article.

    1. No fear mongering, it’s a distinct possibility.
      Christie;
      procon.Org/view.“Marijuana is against the law in the states and it should be enforced in all 50 states

      1. And lying Hillery is a distinct possibility as well…you think for 1 second she won’t go after us…think again. She is bought and paid for by Big Pharma…so what do you thing will happen?

        1. Nobody would be worse than Christie. Look what he did to NJs MMJ program.
          Give him power and you’ll see enforcement like never before

  2. Another scary story to push voters into the corrupt Hillary camp. – Trump stated on July 30 that he supported legal marijuana in the states that want it. – So a Christie/Sabet scenario cannot emerge – at least not without major conversions of heart by those two. – Marijuana legalization is happening, at full steam – no matter who is elected president.

        1. I see that Trump is a liar and an egotistical ass
          Aligning with Christie is another reason to not vote for him.

    1. I’m was toking when Richard Nixon was elected. If you don’t think the marijauana parade can come to a dead stop, you had better think again

    2. Well it worked, I’m afraid of what Trump would do with his appointments
      Christie;
      procon.Org/view.“Marijuana is against the law in the states and it should be enforced in all 50 states

  3. I completely agree with Russ, Hillary is the only choice now. She doesn’t lead on issues, but she can be reasoned with and isn’t Putin’s buddy like Trump.

  4. Russ, I’ve been very hard on some of your articles in the past, but let me say that you’ve done an absolutely fantastic job on this article. Not only did you breakdown the potential threats to cannabis reform that a Trump Presidency would undoubtedly entail, you fairly and accurately acknowledged how different votes for different candidates in different states will be weighted, given the electoral college.

    A vote for Jill Stein won’t make a difference in Kansas, but it may make a difference in a swing-state like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania where Hillary Clinton is not guaranteed victory. Likewise, a vote for Gary Johnson may not make a difference in California or New York, but it might make a difference in Arizona, Utah, or Georgia where Donald Trump is not guaranteed victory. Too many political commentators mistakenly make the blanket statement that “A vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Donald Trump,” when in reality, the truth of that statement depends entirely upon geography.

    In Arizona, Utah, and Georgia it might indeed be the case that a vote for Gary Johnson is half a vote for Hillary Clinton based on Gary Johnson’s polling in those states. In Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, it might also be the case that a vote for Jill Stein is half a vote for Donald Trump. That’s the reality of our electoral landscape everyone in cannabis culture must acknowledge.

    Absolutely vote your conscience, but be sure to consider your vote carefully so that you can live with the practical ramifications — don’t let your personal ideology blind you to the pragmatic consequences. Remember, Florida’s 2014 medical cannabis initiative failed by less than 3% because 22% of self-identified Liberals (according to exit polls) “voted their conscience” and did not support the measure. The real-life consequence of that failure was that a lot of patients in need had to wait two more years for the current initiative, which to me, is unconscionable. People suffered because 22% of so-called “Liberals” didn’t consider the consequences of their vote. It’s stuff like that which makes me want to smack Hipsters.

  5. Nobody who is in their 80s should be sitting judge on the bench that literally has the power to make decisions that affect millions of people’s lives. That is jut to old! Am I being discriminatory damn straight I am. I have never been behind too many people in the grocery store or in line at the DMV or anywhere that was that old that did not have a slow reaction time and most of them have ways that are set by iron. you have to be open minded enough and fair enough to make good decisions especially ones that are going to affect the lives of so many. If they wanna decide something they can decide how many rounds of bingo to play at church! Be for real America. Bad enough our presidential candidates are old. I think they should be 60 and under but nonetheless we get what we get I suppose. I am just sick to death of everyone acting like marijuana is heroin and people being so judged and thrown in jail and the key long lost and I don’t even smoke pot! I also do not drink but have seen the devastation of alcohol on a far higher scale than marijuana ever could be which brings me back to my present state of thought that at the end of the day it is all about the money!

  6. Misleading Fear baiting is the only politics. We see anymore. Sad really, that logical and illogical fallacies tend to dictate ones decisions far more then truth does.

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