Trump Surprised by GOP Platform’s Marijuana Opposition


As reported this week, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump disagrees with running mate Mike Pence when it comes to the medical value of cannabis and the question of whether the federal government should respect state marijuana laws.

Trump says he supports medical cannabis “100 percent” and has pledged to let states implement their own laws without interference, but Pence voted six times in Congress to let the DEA continue to raid medical cannabis patients and providers.

There’s also daylight between Trump and his party’s platform on marijuana policy.

“The progress made over the last three decades against drug abuse is eroding, whether for cultural reasons or for lack of national leadership,” the 2016 GOP platform states. “In many jurisdictions, marijuana is virtually legalized despite its illegality under federal law. At the other end of the drug spectrum, heroin use nearly doubled from 2003 to 2013, while deaths from heroin have quadrupled. All this highlights the continuing conflicts and contradictions in public attitudes and public policy toward illegal substances. Congress and a new administration should consider the longrange implications of these trends for public health and safety and prepare to deal with the problematic consequences.”

At a GOP Platform Committee meeting earlier this month, delegates defeated amendments that would have put the party in support of medical cannabis and in favor of evaluating the failures of drug prohibition:

In an appearance last Wednesday on Fox News, Trump seemed surprised to learn that the GOP platform takes a starkly different position on marijuana than he does as the party’s standard bearer. The candidate described the document as “largely a Trump platform,” but when interviewer Bret Baier pointed out that it isn’t supportive of marijuana legalization or even medical cannabis, Trump was visibly taken aback and could only shrug in response, along with a muttered, “OK”:

It remains to be seen how a Trump administration would actually respond to the growing number of states that are enacting marijuana policy reforms. While he has said repeatedly that he would respect local policies if elected, he has dramatically changed his mind on a broad number of issues over the years and could do so on cannabis if Pence, possible attorney general Chris Christie or other prohibitionist Republican officials persuade him to.

The Democratic Party’s 2016 platform calls for the federal government to respect state marijuana laws.

To find out what else Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton have said about cannabis, check out’s comprehensive guide to the candidates.

Photo courtesy of  Joseph Sohm.

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)


  1. The Republican Party is, as far as I can tell, not all that different than the Nazi party! I cannot imagine ever giving them my support.

    While I am definitely not a fan of Hillary Clinton, or Bill for that matter, I would vote for either of them in a heartbeat over a republican. That said, it would be absolutely wonderful for our country if we could elect Gary Johnson. We just have to get enough people to believe it really is possible. Look here – since Trump actually succeeded in becoming the Republican presidential nominee then almost anything is possible!

    • Even if you boil it down to Just the Democratic platform, Democrats are the people who embrace social justice and equality, and freedom of religion! But, let’s also study the two competing job resumes, without the insight of the public personalities. Clinton wins, small hands down. She understands that the government’s job is to protect and “provide for the general welfare” of ALL.

      Trump is flirting with fascism, oligarchy, and CHAOS for the future. He would be a DISASTER in every possible way. Our country is NOT a business- the bottom line is NOT the priority.

      • Gary Johnson on

        Everything you said was pretty Sound,”EXCEPT how our country is NOT a business?” I swear some of you seem to have either have been born lastnight or just got RIDICULOUSLY STONED TO WERE YOU LOST ALL SCENSE??

      • Hillary Clinton should be on trial right now, not running for ANYTHING. If a Republican had done the things she has, the media would have CRUCIFIED him/her. This is a FACT. Instead, the media has completely swept all the email issues and Benghazi completely under the rug. And if you don’t agree with at least that, you too are brainwashed by the overwhelmingly liberal media. The lesson here is that if you are a liberal, you can get away with some pretty serious crap, because the media is 100% on your side, and will help you to make it “go away”. Hillary Clinton should be worrying about lawyers, trials and keep her freedom, rather than running for office. This is unbelievable to me. And no, I’m not a Republican.

        • How can you state “the media has completely swept all the email issues and Benghazi completely under the rug …” with a straight face? There have been years of investigations and million$ spent to discredit her to no avail. Time to move on.

      • Gotta remember, Dems don’t support equality for preborn kiddos. They’re still at uber risk every day of the week.

      • Yes, the BOTTOM LINE is the priority! How do you get food on your table, it certainly isn’t with Clinton’s love for you….it’s because someone got off of their butt and worked for the money!

        Fair for all means we look like cold war Russia…

    • sounds like you are not one of the millions that are smart. GO Trump.
      we can’t all be wrong . when in the hell are some of you going to wake up. I can’t believe anybody would believe anything Clinton is saying. and contrary to your way of thinking, there are more of us that don’t trust her then well you can guess the rest.

    • Please, explain how the Republican Party is “not all that different than the Nazi party”. I really want to hear your explanation on this. Just because someone has a different OPINION than you ( which is all political views are, basically…opinions), this makes them a “Nazi”? You don’t like Trump, so he’s a Nazi? That’s very demeaning and insulting to those who actually WERE victims of the Nazis.

        • So because you don’t like Donald Trump, he’s a NAZI? The tired rhetoric of modern liberal. Supposed to be the party of “tolerance”, yet you only “tolerate” those who think the way you do…..oh, wait, that’s not TOLERANCE at all, is it?

    • Gary could beat DT, run second to HRC bringing into the Bigs. Vote Gary Johnson/Bill Weld, vote YOUR CONSCIENCE.

      • Hahahah, that’s a good one. That Gary Johnson could beat ANYONE is a joke. You go Mark, strive for that 2%!! The Libertarian party will always be a distant 3rd. Those are facts.

  2. Trump doesn’t owe Piggy Biggy Pharma any favors and Trump despises corruption and lobbyists so perhaps you’ll get a fairer shake from his administration than one that is under Piggy Biggy’s thumb now.

    Its PB Pharma that is opposing any re-scheduling of cannabis and their lobbyists peddle influence equally on both sides of the aisles in any legislature. In the states with limited medical cannabis PB Pharma is whipping up a regulation frenzy, New York’s medical pot roll-out is porked up with regulations its a joke (choke). Their objective is to build in as much cost into medical marijuana as possible bringing prices comparable to their crap.

    So don’t be used by the liberal media that try to assign negative cannabis positions to Republicans. BTW it was a Republican President Lincoln that freed the slaves if we’re assigning accomplishments by partisanship.

    That dog don’t hunt.

    • Gary Johnson on

      Another person with MOSTLY facts? THEN all down hill with a FAIR SHAKE, TRUMP ADMIN WOULD BRING US? Stop watching clips on the internet or wherever u get it need from??

      If you make 1 comment that makes SOME SENCE THEN JUST MAKE A BUNCH OF nonsensical innuendos, and you sir should not be making comments!?
      HONESTLY just another person’s perspective on what you had to say no disrespect??

    • Yeah but Lincolns “republican party” was today’s Democratic Party back then and was for equality of the people but the parties changed early 1900s. Today it would be the democrats who would free the slaves and the republicans who would want to keep them.
      Know your history if your going to pop off a comment like that!!!
      F*ck Trump and all his minions!!!

      • So because you aren’t a Republican, you think that Republicans would want to be slave owners? Give me a break. YOU are the one who should learn some history. You act like it was an even switch, Republicans used to be Democrats and vice-versa. There is WAY more to it than that. Go read a book.

  3. Gary Johnson on

    Sure convince me that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE JUST BECAUSE TRUMP WON A REP. NOMINATION? HA HA.. that happens basically every year or every couple cycles, total buffoon gets nominated then we never hear from him again. Let him become president then start talking about Gary Johnson! Sure in “OUR PERFECT COUNTRY SENERIO” WE HAVE THR SAME DEAL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN.JUST MORE LIBERAL!? it sounds like you just turned 18 and are voting for the first time? Not trying to be rude it would be nice if you knew ALITTLE about our POLITICAL SYSTEM??

    • sorry Gary I’m 73 and never miss a voting time. Who knows what will happen either way this country needs fixing one way it might get done the other not a prayer in hell. we will see.

      • Gary Johnson on

        Which way is that? Also what are you talking About? Please explain a little better thank you Tom that’s 73? I respect EVERYONE, it doesn’t matter how old you are? Please just read my commens then actually comment on the merits.

    • love the “buffoon” remark, priceless! He is grabbing his 15 mins of “Poli-Fame” in hope networks will pick up his totally lame show……….whooops did I just go there?

  4. SImple fact is, many of “us” evil republicans are pro-marijuana, are users of marijuana, and vote for, in our states, legalization. The older our population grows, and I am in the over -50 crowd, the more likely marijuana will be legalized in all 50 states.

    Change takes time, and calling conservative minded people, and those that want safe communities nazzi’s is not only a big fat lie, it guarantees that no one will listen to you other than goofballs.

    Trump isn’t political, and that’s why so many people have formed a preconception that is simply wrong. It’s taken me a while to better understand the man, but if you look at his life, and how he’s conducted business, he’s been pro-equal pay for women decades before the liberals found it a cause-celeb, he was pro-LGBTQ long before it was a thing. He’s pro-hustle, pro-ambition, pro-give-a-shit. And it’s clear that he loves our nation, and wants it to prosper.

    A prosperous America is the enemy of liberalism, as liberalism survives and thrives on dependency.

    • Gary Johnson on

      Everything you said sounded BEAUTIFUL”but”, how do you figure that man LOVEZ THIS COUNTRY? BETTER YET HE WANTS “THE USA” TO PROSPER? LMAO……LOOK AT JUST ABOUT ALL HIS BIZ DEALS!?

      • Gary… WTF?! Your grammar sucks! Please learn the proper uses for there.they’re, and their. Take time to get these right in your head then come join us in INTELLIGENT discussion. Thank you.

    • Right…in essense, Trump is no Republican. He’s just another Lyin’ POLITICIAN! And he wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face. But it’s true, he’s trying to ‘reform’ the Republican party into another progressive Democrat party. He’s pro-LGBT, pro-abortion, and pro-adultery. That’s all I have to know. I sure won’t vote for him.

    • I have many “R.Friends” I am a middle guy myself, best man for the job. Not so fitting in this case as the best happens to be female……”Rep’s” are fantastic humans all, I admire many especially the hard core ones that are truly devoted to the party. Its those I feel worse for, I really wish that america had a better candiate for them. /tipHat


  5. Donald Trump on


  6. There is absolutely no way that Trump will ever support marijuana reform laws. His Vice Presidential pick is an extremist, in the conservative sense, and he is on his way to becoming a dictator, if elected. I suggest buying as much as anyone can right now, that’s right stockpiling it if you have to, because if he is elected, it will set marijuana reform laws back 50 years. The Republican Party has done a 360 since the days of Lincoln. Has no one been listening to the racist referendum of the Republican Party? Donald Trump cares about Donald Trump. Any “surprise” he may have shown was just acting…after all, he is from the entertainment world. He’s a reality star, people. Good luck with any change in the laws if, God forbid, he is ever elected.

    • Donald Trump on

      Cathy, I will stand by my word! I am the honest candidate! I’m no liar. The other party’s candidate had no honor nor problem lying to America’s face.

    • I’m sure unborn children would appreciate having Mike Pence as VP because he’d outlaw any further violence against them. But…the sad/bad part is his running mate is Donald Trump, who rarely keeps his promises. Just ask his last 3 mail-order wives.

      • michal schartz on

        Yes it is sad the abortions. But let me ask this, who is going to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, love these children who will be from the time of their conception have been resented, hated, abused in the womb with alcohol, drugs.

        • Very poor arguments for legalized killing of innocent children. Does poverty really justify killing anyone? Your prophecy of doom for these children is invalid, as couples are forced to travel abroad to adopt children because of all the killings done here. As for abuse in the womb…what could possibly be worse than the slaughter of abortion?

          • Actually it’s only a “very poor argument” to you , because you are Pro-life. It’s actually a very VALID argument. Do I think any woman with a brain can figure out a better form of birth control? Sure. But the FACT remains, there are thousands upon thousands of unwanted children in the foster system already. Making abortion illegal will only greatly increase those numbers. These are facts. You have your principles, and that’s a good thing. But you can not deny the facts.

          • My reply to you ended up under my own post, I don’t know why. But it’s there instead of under your post.

    • I don’t trust anything EITHER of them say. But Hillary is a criminal, straight up. If she was a Republican, she would be on TRIAL right now, not running for office. The liberal media has helped her sweep all that crime right on under the rug. How nice. And no, I’m not a Republican.

        • ??? I have no idea what the hell you are talking about. “sour puss bern victim? /rubs_Ointment” is that drivel supposed to mean something to me? Or are you just another sub-moronic, troglodytic shit-talker, as these threads seem to be so full of? (That would be my guess)

        • You don’t even HAVE a “case”. Get over yourself already because you speak NONSENSE. Thanks for proving my point about you being a “shit-talker” though. Good job, yet again.

          Why are you trying to start an argument with a stranger? I say I’m not sure what you are talking about and you say “I rest my case”?? Get bend, moron.

    • So tell me why my being pro-life justifies your support of killing innocent children? And according to your own judgment, should we kill ALL poor and abused people…or just the unborn whom you predict will all be poor and abused and therefore unworthy of life? And how many foster children would you demand a couple adopt before they can adopt a newborn?

      Yes, making abortion illegal will make the numbers of living newborns increase and the numbers of slaughtered dead newborns decrease. Yes, those are facts. Funny how quick you are to support the killing of the innocent but you don’t want anyone killing you!

      • Wow, do you make assumptions. If you were able to read what I wrote and decide that I “support” anything, then you are apparently psychic. Where did I once say anything NEAR to “kill all the little baby fetuses, they are all gonna be poor anyway!!” Whoa, lady! Maybe you should go back and read what I wrote, and then read your own insanity. I wrote FACTS, I didn’t write how I feel about it, how I vote, or my opinion on ANYTHING. Holy crap, woman. You, Jane, are a maniacal freak. Maybe you should answer with your head instead of your heart next time, because you just put a WHOLE TON OF SHIT in there that I never said. Good job, Jane. Good job.

  7. Jarvis Green on

    It’s time for the People of this country to stop fighting with one another about which “team” they have somehow aligned themselves. It’s a ridiculous argument that pulls focus from the issues at hand. Would you hate an opposing fan at a sporting event if tragedy befell the game somehow? Or, would you find the humanity in your self to put aside such childishnesss as rooting for a particular side in order to address the collective experiential problem at hand?

  8. Trump is just saying what the people want to hear. Saying hes for medical pot is what we want. Its still not going to change the way i feel hes a straight up PUTZ.Maybe if he smoked a few bowls he wouldnt be so bad we can wish. Lets pray to god or whoever to keep this PUTZ from becoming president. President PUTZ Well thats about all me and Uncle Remus have to say rock on america

    • Actually, he’s saying exactly what his constituents DON’T want to here. The GOP aren’t, in general, huge fans of smoking weed. He’s running as a Republican. The “pandering” thing to do would be to go against legalizing weed if he is trying to get on the good side of the Republican establishment.

      • he likes to spread around his hypocrisy.

        just another self indulgent “love the sound of my own voice ass”

        have no idea why he is so mad. But it makes him give “interesting” replies that resemble the chimpanzee learning their ABC’s

        what a douche

  9. Walter White on

    KKH369, if you were a woman, I’d ask for your hand in marriage immediately! Great posts! And just in case anyone here is curious, I’m a retired Police Chief who happens to use MMJ to relieve PTSD, and stop ALL alcohol cravings. (MMJ came after retirement from Law Enforcement, but I can’t remember ever arresting a single soul for it to begin with.) Donald Trump will be a tremendous President, and Hillary will continue to be the FASCIST TYRANT that the main stream media loves with the sickest passion. Again, thank you for your posts! I love MMJ people who have common sense!

    • I appreciate the compliment, but you make a LOT of assumptions. I am NOT a Republican, I don’t think Trump will make a “tremendous President” and I am not voting for him, I think many police officers these days are completely out of control, and I have said nothing in my posts about being “pro MMJ”. Sorry to shatter your illusions about me.

      • Walter White on

        KKH, I’m a libertarian. I believe both parties should be removed by force as they’re out of control. I’m also aware that law enforcement is completely out of control. I despise the “new guys,” as they’re the one’s who received trophies for showing up. And now when these monsters show up, they let everyone know it’s time to show them recognition, or else. Also, you don’t have to support marijuana law reform. Of course, please know that marijuana was outlawed in the early 1900’s in order to control black people. A plant that grows in the dirt was outlawed so those “crazy negros” could be controlled. And not voting for Trump? Your vote goes wasted, and Queen Hillary benefits. What a shame! I can’t marry you now, sorry.

        • I think “crazy Negros” was actually used in the original document.

          @kkh if your not pro-mmj WTF are you even doing here?

          guy compliments you and you leave him hanging, your friends must just LOVE You

          troll much?

          • Your mother not give you enough attention as a child or something? He wasn’t talking to you, and neither was I. My point was that I never said I was for OR against mmj. You make a LOT of assumptions, and therefore whatever you have to say is meaningless. I don’t think there are sufficient words in the English language to adequately express how little I care what you think. Bye.

  10. Trump as our president, not after that fluff he presented at the convention. No party speakers to endorse him so he brings out his family and those who support him at the lowest levels of government. It reminded me of the attempted take over by the “God-like” dictator in “Jewel of the Nile.” I was waiting for someone to shake his dais and expose his smoke and mirrors to the ignorant masses. All fact checks show him to be a self-serving ass.
    Adolph Hitler came out of obscurity to lead a movement of disenfranchised WWI sore losers.
    Donald Trump came out of obscurity to host the Apprentice and lead disenfranchised Republicans in the “sore loser” birther movement.
    Adolph Hitler came to power as a charismatic xenophobe pressing extreme solutions to a broken banking system.
    Donald Trump came to power offending every possible group of immigrants and non-male person espousing extreme solutions.
    Hitler and his NAZI party won a landslide election and quickly made himself the absolute ruler of Germany, one of his ardent followers was Saddam Hussein.
    If Donald Trump wins in November he will have no choice but to see himself as the “supreme CEO” of American government. Two of his ardent followers are both Sen. Charles Grassley and Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa. They have written Iowa’s medical cannabis rules to supply none and arrest all as federally charged domestic smugglers. Grassley has been the supreme obstructionist in Congress. Branstad is dirty beyond anything Hillary could ever do, once known as “Ol’ Two Books Terry,” but neo-Nazi congressman Steve King supports Trump, Grassley, and Branstad (I almost typed “Braindead” as this is how our governor is known.
    This is a return to Nixonite repressive policies. How did President Harry Truman characterize Nixon? He called him, “A lying, cheating, Son-of-a Bitch.” Perhaps we should listen to Harry Truman in this case as well, as all fact checker’s agree that Trump blatantly lies to serve his own interests.

    • Mark, you know more than I and I thought I knew a lot…. I hope you read American Thinker and National Review, both of which cannot abide Trump. I’d love to see your posts over there too. Just keep educating us. Trump is so awfully proud of never being a smoker I can just see him proudly un-doing all MJ freedoms we currently enjoy. I’m really scared for the future, not so much for myself as I’ll not be around for much longer, but for my kiddos and their kiddos. Thanks for your very good post!

    • Likening people you don’t agree with politically as “Nazis” is a complete and total slap in the face to those who actually HAVE been the victim of the Nazis. I’m not a Trump fan, but he certainly isn’t “Hitler”…that analogy is a JOKE. But that is the tactic of the modern-day Liberal….anyone you don’t agree with is a “Nazi”. So much for that famous Liberal “tolerance”. You are a transgendered Lesbian Muslim? GREAT!!! You are a straight, white conservative? PROBLEM!!! It’s a joke. And no, I’m not a Republican, nor am I a Trump fan. This does not make him HITLER!!! I have many Jewish friends who are getting REALLY TIRED OF HEARING THIS BULL. And as far as “all fact checkers agree…” You know what ALL fact checkers believe, do ya? Took a survey, did ya?

  11. michal schartz on

    The reason the heroin use and death is up, doctors can no longer prescribe pain pills. so the people have no choice but to hit the black market. My opinion, If your not aware that the CIA makes money selling drugs to buy weapons to support regimes they support. If you do not know this research the Iran/Contra affair. The CIA is not making as much money off the pot any more. So they have teamed up with the DEA who now has access to your prescription usage. Take the pain pills away and people have no choice to access the black market for pain relief.

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