The Trump Administration is fucked up. I cannot think of a more kind way to say that.
Every day I wake up to another news piece about these assholes getting people to trade their freedoms for the perception of “making America safe again.” From demonizing Mexicans and Muslims to justify building barriers and excluding people from certain nations, to declaring every media outlet besides Fox News as the enemy, the reality is that we are pretty fucked. These dudes are willing to lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want and the results will be a disaster for this Country for years to come. It is hard to see how anyone could believe that the sky is not falling at this point. These dudes are dead set on making the Book of Revelations a reality, and seem to welcome Armageddon with open arms.
Ever since Donald Trump announced his pick for Attorney General was Jefferson Beauregard Sessions I have been skeptical about the future of the cannabis industry. Many people who I associate with in this industry have accused me of overreacting, and have chosen to take the extremely optimistic position that the new administration would just leave weed alone.
They have justified this argument by stating that, “there is too much money being made for them to crack down on the industry” to which I responded that there is a hell of a lot of money in prohibition and locking people up for weed. The Drug War rages on not because it is good for society… It rages on because there are a lot of people making a lot of bread. Just look at the stocks of private prisons, as Sessions announced that the Feds would begin using them again in anticipation of the need to lock a bunch of more people up. Law enforcement, drug testing, legal costs, rehabs, and many more industries make A LOT of money from weed prohibition. It is laughable for us to believe that our petty tax revenues would somehow deter the Feds from going back to full blown enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act.
Others have stated that they believe the new administration would be too busy with immigration to focus a lot of time and energy on marijuana enforcement. I reminded them that we have a whole department called the Drug Enforcement Administration dedicated to enforcing bad drug laws and locking people up for weed. The administration is also working on hiring at least 15,000 new border and ICE agents to manage the immigration enforcement, so they are increasing their bandwidth to meet the demands of mass deportation and immigration enforcement. Do not believe for a second that if Mr. Sessions decides he wants a full frontal attack on the weed game that they will find the money and the people to pull it off.
It is hard for me to see how then Senator Jeff Sessions could berate the Obama Justice Department just last April for not enforcing the Nation’s marijuana laws in states where it is legal, and then not do something about it now that he has the job. He stated, “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” That does not sound like a guy who is going to take a hands off approach to the marijuana industry. Listen to him for yourself.
SENATE HEARING APRIL 2016
I have been walking around for the past couple of months feeling like Chicken Little telling fools that the sky is falling when in all honesty it is anyone’s guess what will happen. Unfortunately, my gut feeling is that we are pretty fucked. I anticipate nothing but sleazy underhanded manipulation from these fuckfaces that ar running the show for at least the next four years… not just with weed but with everything. The whole deal just feels super gross. It is hard for me to stomach that this is where we are really at as a nation. Ugh.
Then we got some confirmation of Trumps’s dastardly plans yesterday from Sean “Big Spicey” Spicer, the Press Secretary for the White House. He enlightened us as to what we can expect from the Trump Administration regarding weed laws… sort of. In a press conference, when asked about the Administration’s position on enforcement of marijuana laws in states where it is legal the response was pretty ominous to say the least. Big Spicey seemed to believe that there would be a reckoning coming for the “recreational” weed industry:
“There’s a big difference between [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana and I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be encouraging people ― there’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature,” Spicer said.
When asked if the federal government will take action around recreational marijuana, Spicer said, “That’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Recreational use … is something the Department of Justice will be looking into.”
Spicer did seem to give a glimmer of hope for medical marijuana, while in the same breath likening recreational marijuana to the opioid crisis that we see straight up killing people right and left around the Nation. Dsfuck? That is pretty spooky to hear. Good to know we are being compared to that epidemic. Another policy apparently based on “alternative facts.”
This abstract policy statement from Sean Spicer is especially troubling for businesses that have heavily invested into the adult use sector of the industry, as well as those who are employed by these businesses. In California, it is a real kick in the nuts given that we just passed an adult use law and have not even begun to license these businesses. The party might be over before it ever began. It is truly scary to think that we could go back to a time where raids happen every week, and people get locked up for draconian prison sentences for operating legal and transparent cannabis businesses doing everything right. And unfortunately it looks like we all will still be going to the doctor for a long time to come.
The real possible issue that the “medical only” position that the Administration is leaning towards poses is that a rescheduling of cannabis to Schedule 2, which the AG can do on their own if they so choose, would effectively shut down the entire current medical industry in favor of FDA approved real deal pharmaceutical cannabis medicines only. We are a couple of bad decisions of: scrapping the Cole memo; rescheduling weed; and cracking down on cannabis businesses, from seeing the entire industry as we know it pretty much vanish.
I understand that there are plenty of folks who are skeptical of my worst case scenario viewpoint; but look around you. There is a lot of worst case scenario shit popping off in America right now. Damn near every cabinet position appointed by Trump was a person whose objective has been to pretty much destroy the very department they are now in charge of. Chief White House Adviser Steve Bannon state at CPAC that the Administration’s objective is “deconstruction of the administrative state.” This shit is definitely not funny anymore and we would be naive as an industry to not begin preparing for the worst.
As a person who consults cannabis businesses for a living it is hard for me to tell my clients that everything is going to be alright, when in all honesty I am not really sure of that. I do know that there has never been a better time to get your compliance documentation in order before getting that knock on the door. Should something happen, God forbid, your best defense is the proof that you are operating as an above board legitimate business. But I am honest with all of my clients and let them know that shit could get real weird real quick. Luckily I have been through the weirdness and made it out alive, and know how to navigate the murky waters ahead. We could be in for quite the wild ride it sounds, so hang on tight.
At the end of the day we are all adults here. Hopefully anyone who has decided to invest in the industry, and be a part of the movement for social change that is cannabis, is clearly aware that they are indeed an outlaw. Like it or not, regardless of how many fancy state and local licenses you have hanging on the wall and how many taxes you have paid to the man, you are a criminal. Plain and simple. You are breaking the law and can go to prison for a long long time for what you are doing. One thing is for certain… as soon as that first door is kicked in by the Session’s USDOJ you can be sure there will be a scattering of folks who are just here for the money. It takes a lot of passion for cannabis and a giant sack of nuts to continue to openly break the law in the face of more aggressive enforcement practices. It will be easy to see who stands where if that threat becomes a reality.
I hope that I am wrong. I hope we can all look back on this and laugh about that time I got all weirded out and paranoid about Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump. I truly do hope everything will be okay. But I would be silly not to be a bit skeptical given the chaotic and aggressive first month of the Trump Administration. To be honest, I am really scared shitless. These cats are serious about fucking shit up and taking names, and I am positive that my name is still floating around the DEA offices somewhere. #ohhelpmelordjesus
I have been an outlaw for decades though so what is a few more years between friends? I am ready for the fight. Bring it. That is what I do. Game on, bitches. Game on. I got your prohibition right here, pal. Go fuck yourselves. One foot in front of the other all motherfucking day. Selah.