With Trump and Sessions, we’re entering an unsure period of marijuana legalization in the United States. Today, we’re not looking at their economic or social records, but at one thing in particular: how have the last five presidents handled marijuana policy?
The good: Um… Hm… Give me a second…
The bad: His comments about weed in 1980: “Leading medical researchers are coming to the conclusion that marijuana, pot, grass, whatever you want to call it, is probably the most dangerous drug in the United States, and we haven’t begun to find out all of the ill effects, but they are permanent ill effects.”
The ugly: Where to start? Under Reagan, we saw the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) created, the CIA activated in the domestic drug war and the strengthening of the multi-decade War on Drugs.
George H.W. Bush
The Good: While we hesitate to call this good, H.W. Bush strongly supported the rights of the states to make their own decisions on marijuana legalization, regardless of whether he showed that in practice or not.
The Bad: That being said, Bush also strongly supported the federal law banning marijuana.
The Ugly: September 5, 1989. Bush gave the War on Drugs some of its strongest ammunition that day, when he held up a bag of crack cocaine and said it was purchased in front of the White House. This led to hugely punitive drug policies, which while mainly focused on crack, would hit the unfortunate pot bystanders as well.
The Good: Clinton campaigned heavily on using treatment over incarceration and fully admitted that he kinda-sorta-maybe smoked a blunt in London.
The Bad: Treatment over incarceration makes less money, though, so within a few months Clinton reverted to the Republican drug strategies of his predecessors.
The Ugly: The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The bill created much tougher incarceration rates, limited the ability for parole and instituted a ‘three-strike’ policy.
George W. Bush
The Good: Like father, like son.
The Bad: According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “The era of George W. Bush witnessed the rapid escalation of the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year—mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors.”
The Ugly: Bush campaigned on saying medical marijuana should be left up to the states, a position he (unsurprisingly) pivoted on after being elected. In addition, the administration allowed multiple raids on patients and dispensaries in legal states.
The Good: Obama has been, by far, the most weed friendly president we’ve ever had. He’s said in multiple interviews that he thinks marijuana should be taxed the same as cigarettes and alcohol. He granted clemency to more nonviolent drug offenders than any president in history. And hey, look how many states have legal weed now!
The Bad: Obama has long held the policy that, as president, he can’t just change federal drug policy—but he’s insinuated that if Congress passed a bill,(missed that opportunity).
The Ugly: During the Obama administration, the DEA made CBD oil illegal, which patients in many states use to control seizures.
Fantastic Fungi Is A New Documentary That Celebrates The World Of Mushrooms
Texas Suddenly Stops Issuing Permits For New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Vapers May No Longer Pay Less For Life Insurance Than Smokers
High Times Greats: The Persecution Of Lenny Bruce
Grow6 days ago
Culture5 days ago
Pot Etiquette: How To Navigate The Ever-Changing World Of Weed
News3 days ago
Judge Says Police Seizure Of 900 Pounds Of Marijuana Was Illegal
News5 days ago
University In Houston Testing Psilocybin For Treatment-Resistant Depression
Culture6 days ago
High Folks: Christina Dipaci Wants To Take Us All To Paradise
News6 days ago
First HempWood Factory Opening In Murray, Kentucky Thanks To A New Startup
News5 days ago
Over Two Dozen Medical Cannabis Growers in Pennsylvania Unionize
Business3 days ago
California Company Develops Metal-Free Vape Cartridge