So, what do Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Roy Cooper, Gov. Charlie Baker, Project SAM co-founder and former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, and Bertha K. Madras all have in common – besides their apparent disdain for sensible marijuana reform?
They’ve all been tapped by Trump to help shape his Administration’s new war on drugs and addiction.
The announcement comes after dramatically cutting the Office of National Drug Policy budget by 95% on Monday, signaling the Trump Administration is ready, willing, and able to turn back the hands of time on the Drug War clock.
“Policy: It shall be the policy of the executive branch to combat the scourge of drug abuse, addiction, and overdose (drug addiction), including opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose (opioid crisis). This public health crisis was responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in 2015 alone, most of which involved an opioid, and has caused families and communities across America to endure significant pain, suffering, and financial harm.”
Despite the mountain of research and well-documented studies indicating states that have reformed their marijuana laws have enjoyed decreased opioid-related deaths, diminished DUI-related fatalities, and reduced teenage use, Trump’s five appointees feel slightly different about the topic:
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey On Marijuana:
“I believe it should still be illegal. If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it until January 2017, because I will enforce the federal laws against marijuana.” ~ Wired
Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina On Marijuana:
“It’s not the law in North Carolina now, and you can be prosecuted criminally. It’s something we need to go very slow on, we have to look at what’s happening in Colorado and Washington and other states that are deciding to do that.” ~ Politics of North Carolina
Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts On Marijuana:
“Here in Massachusetts, we face the possibility that any new revenue would be vastly insufficient to cover the cost of ambulance rides, emergency room visits, and treatment,’’ Baker, Walsh, and Healey write. “And these are just the hard costs; they don’t include the suffering of the injured and their families.’’ ~ Boston.com
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J Kennedy of Rhode Island On Marijuana:
“We can’t let the marijuana industry become the next Big Tobacco—threat to public health.” ~ Facebook
Bertha K. Madras On Marijuana:
“Marijuana has high abuse potential, no currently approved medical use and is considered unsafe. At least 4.2 million Americans have a cannabis (marijuana) use disorder, with about 30.5 percent of current marijuana users harboring this problem.” ~ Sunshine State News
More than 40 years after Pres. Nixon rolled out America’s initial War on Drugs, the federal government has spent more than $1 trillion on interdiction policies. With no end in sight, Trump’s continued war could cost U.S. taxpayers more than $51 billion this year alone.
Photo courtesy of ep-jhu