01.31.2017
policy

Donald Trump Has a Marijuana Advisory Group

It’s made up of people who are paid to put other people in jail.

A panel of experts has been assembled to advise President Donald Trump’s administration on marijuana policies. Oddly, that select body does not include Snoop Dogg or Tommy Chong or even Cheech Marin. In fact, the Trump Administration’s weed advisory crew is made up entirely of prosecutors.

The National District Attorney’s Association has handpicked 14 district attorneys from across the country to suggest strategies for the Trump Justice Department’s approach to the conflicting array of state-level marijuana laws.

If you favor marijuana-law reform, the grain of hope in this prosecution-weighted think tank is that the NDAA included DA’s from recreational weed states California and Oregon, along with Stan Garnett, the district attorney of Boulder County, Colorado.

Garnett attributes his inclusion in the advisory group to “a reflection of the NDAA’s interest in having a fairly balanced committee.”

Garnett presents himself as a law-enforcement official who will “always end up on the more liberal position,” at least while among a group of other district attorneys, especially when the discussion rolls around to weed, which is a major economic booster in Garnett’s home county. Garnett attributes his inclusion in the advisory group to “a reflection of the NDAA’s interest in having a fairly balanced committee.”

Still, Boulder’s top prosecutor recognizes that “fairly balanced” is a relative condition.

From the Boulder Daily Camera:

Garnett said that at the first meeting, some of the DAs wanted to send a letter to the governor of any state with recreational or medical marijuana telling them to shut those businesses down within 90 days.
"I thought that was a particularly unrealistic and ill-advised idea, and I was not shy about saying that," Garnett said.

However, one of the nicest things President Trump’s designated Attorney General, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, has ever said about marijuana is that “good people don’t smoke” it. Presuming Sessions is installed as Attorney General, his opinion will have a lot to do with how marijuana possession, use, cultivation, and sales will be policed from the federal level. He may view delivering a shut-down letter to governors of weed-legal states as perfectly realistic and well-advised.

"At the moment nobody really knows what approach the Trump justice department will take,” Boulder County’s Garnett tells the Daily Camera. For now, that’s as clear as the picture of weed’s legal future gets.

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