Ever since the American people decided last November that Donald Trump was to become the next president of the United States, the private prison industry has been raking in higher profits.
Although private prison stocks began to decrease in value after the U.S. Department of Justice announced in the summer of 2016 that it would no longer use private detention facilities to house federal inmates, investors started pouring substantial money back into these operations in the week following Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
In fact, NPR reports that stocks of the two largest prison corporations in the U.S. (GEO and CoreCivic) experienced growth between 20 and 40 percent after Election Day.
It seems that investors are counting on Trump’s campaign promise to crackdown on illegal immigrants. Some of them potentially even have their fingers crossed that his selection for U.S. Attorney General, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, will once again give the DEA the green light to start kicking down the doors of the cannabis community.
Marijuana is legal in over half the nation, but the federal government still considers it to be one of the most dangerous illicit substances in the world. The average pot consumer would not likely be in any danger of catching federal heat, but proprietors of marijuana businesses operating in legal states could certainly risk doing hard time if Sessions happens to unleash the dogs of the drug war on the cannabis industry later this year.
Sessions has said previously that marijuana was “already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal,” which may indicate his willingness to start cracking skulls once he is confirmed as Attorney General. However, he has not yet revealed a marijuana enforcement plan.
While there has been a push recently to cripple the incarceration industry, many believe Trump will take action to reinstate private prison contracts once he takes control of the White House. Last March, Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that using private detention centers was probably the best approach to the nation’s prison system.
“With prisons I do think we can do a lot of privatizations and private prisons. It seems to work a lot better,” Trump said.
If Trump does resurrect the demand for private prisons, which is expected, reports show the majority of the focus would be on controlling immigration. But there is certainly some cause for alarm when considering these privately run facilities could soon be used to cage those people currently growing and selling marijuana legally under the language of state law.
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