WeedWeek endorses Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for president. Voting in the Democratic primary begins with tonight’s Iowa caucus.
- Of the leading Democratic candidates, Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders have endorsed legalizing marijuana. WeedWeek believes Warren has the best chance of winning in November.
HuffPost, Chicago Tribune, Vox
- Warren has demonstrated concern for rectifying the injustices of the war on drugs, while also showing that she’s willing to act pragmatically to normalize the industry. Notably she is a co-sponsor, with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) of the bipartisan States Act, which would protect state-legal REC and MED activity.
- Candidates Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg have not endorsed legalization, though both seem resigned to endorse states’ rights. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) says she supports legalization but has barely discussed it.
- For lots more reasons to support Warren, see the New York Times endorsement of her and Klobuchar.
President Trump’s record:
- Trump has largely continued President Obama’s policy of benign neglect towards the marijuana industry. It’s one of very few areas where there has been consistency between the two administrations.
- However, this policy has become increasingly tenuous as more states have legalized, and many aspects of marijuana policy — from banking to pesticides to medical research and veterans access — demand federal attention.
- Trump reportedly supports states-rights and a majority of Republicans nationwide support legalization. However, influential Trump allies in Washington from Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, have pushed back against legalization. Trump is not known to have pushed for cannabis reform.
Politico, MarketWatch, Reddit
- While some in the cannabis industry have suggested Trump will legalize in order to secure his re-election, I’m not aware of any evidence suggesting this is likely or that he has seriously considered it. It would certainly attract loud criticism from parts of his base.
- John Boehner’s successor as Speaker of the House, former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said he opposes legalization.