Donald Trump has yet to declare a position on cannabis, but one advocacy group is advising him to back federal legalization of medical marijuana—because it will give him a boost in the polls. In other words: Election day is only 53 days away and Trump desperately needs votes. Embracing legalization would help.
Last week the Harmonious Code Council, a Washington D.C. group that wants to end the discord between federal and state medical marijuana laws, sent a memo to the Trump campaign urging the Republican nominee to back legislation that would take medical marijuana off of the controlled substances list. The proposal would also allow individual states to opt-in to cannabis reform or remain on the side of prohibition. Dan Perrin, the group’s co-founder, called it “a win-win situation for conservative states-rights supporters, and liberals who support medical marijuana.”
“Placing the issue of marijuana front and center of the political arena could stir things up for both candidates, and we think whomever comes out in favor of harmonizing federal and state cannabis laws will have the best chance of winning, statistically,” said Dan Perrin of the Harmonious Code Council. Trump’s support for federal harmonization with state laws “will appeal to the 54% of the general U.S. population, and the 71% of millennials that believe medical marijuana should be legal.”
Perrin and the Council outlined the specific advantages to supporting an action-driven platform on medical cannabis, as opposed to Hillary Clinton’s “wait and see” position.
The memo reads: “…[Trump] will be helping the low-income and African-American communities that have seen too many lives ruined by prison time for petty drug crimes. Additionally, support for legal medical marijuana will help states raise tax revenue to work toward Mr. Trump’s goals for better schools and improved law enforcement.”
According to the leaked memo, surveys show that 63% of Republican millennials and 77% of Democrat millennials support medical marijuana use.
Perrin is an experienced D.C. lobbyist well known for his work on establishing America’s current Health Savings Accounts. Adroit in legislative processes in the nation’s capital, he served as a U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations staff member, as well as staff to the U.S. Senate Steering Committee.
“Clinton is betting these voters have nowhere else to go – Mr. Trump should give them that alternative,” Perrin advised the Republican team. Trump’s support of states’ rights on cannabis could tip voters in his favor, especially young voters and male voters.
Taking a strong stance in favor of medical cannabis could also help Trump’s standing among African-American voters, the Council wrote. “Considering Hillary Clinton’s long history of taking campaign donations from private prisons, there is little motivation for her to work to reduce the number of African-Americans being sent to prison. Mr. Trump’s support of more reasonable drug laws could have a major impact on the African-American family.”
The Trump campaign has so far declined to respond to the memo. Leafly’s calls to campaign policy director John Mashburn, as well as staffer Jim Frogue and spokesperson Hope Hicks, went unreturned.