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Medical Cannabis Could be Donald Trump’s Best Bet

September 15, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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.

Chloe Sommers's Bio Image

Chloe Sommers

Chloe Sommers is an award-winning journalist who reports on drug policy, medical marijuana, and the cannabis industry. Based in Washington, D.C., Sommers is a senior writer for The Marijuana Times and regularly contributes to Leafly, The Weed Blog, and Ganjapreneur.

View Chloe Sommers's articles

  • LoveUSAHateTheHate

    Re-Title this Article –

    Medical Cannabis Could be Donald Trump’s Best Con Job to trick voters yet!

    Why would we give Trump the Con Man another “Con” idea to sell to the sheeples –

    Plus Cannabis is winning elections all on its own –

    With Chris Christy and the rest of the Lock them up gang behind him – do you really think a (any) promise from Trump will be fulfilled.
    Trump has already claimed to be able to solve everything to include the Jimmy Hoffa mystery.
    Personally the only claim he might be right about is Hoffa.
    I want Cannabis Legal as much as the next guy, more maybe
    But I am not willing to risk World War III via a Trump Presidency
    We know what a Clinton white house is like – no wars – good economy – balanced budget
    We know Trump is going to double down on “trickle down” economics of Bush era and we know what that lead to –
    How many Politicians have supported Cannabis Legalization?
    Why is it in every single state that cannabis is legal in, its legal ONLY by the will of the people’s vote via Amendments to State constitutions – Not one state legislation has allowed legal cannabis
    I would rather allow the people to get it done
    I agree with Colin Powell – Donald Trump as a “national disgrace”

    If you believe Trump will deliver on legal cannabis you really need to study the GOP a little better – it will be 25 years before GOP agrees to legal cannabis.

    Re-Title this Article –
    Medical Cannabis Could be Donald Trump’s Best Con Job to trick voters yet!

    • Dave C

      See what Trump said in his own words, about states with legal cannabis. starts at 4:10

      Donald Trump has announced his support of a federalist stance regarding the question of marijuana reform, in which questions of regulated adult use should be “left to the states.” The Republican presidential candidate, fresh off his win of the New Hampshire primary, also expressed his full, unqualified support of medical marijuana reform.

      Trump is 100% behind Medical Cannabis.

      BTW: Anti-Trump = Anti-American, You better start practicing saying, President Trump.

      “When a true genius appears in the world, you will know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him.” Jonathan Swift

      • Apparition

        Great post Dave.

        Trump is a pragmatist. Leaving the decision up to the states is the Constitutional way to proceed.

        As industry standards develop and responsible businesspeople take the lead, more states will learn this is a viable option to increase tax revenue as well as job opportunities. And not just med. / rec. cannabis, but industrial hemp as well.

        Medicine, Food, Fuel, Fiber & Fun = more jobs & increased tax revenue for all participating states !

      • LoveUSAHateTheHate

        Trumps own words? Which day of the last year were the words spoken? This guy can’t put too sentences together without one of them being false.
        There is a reason they call him Don the Con –
        I know Trump supporters are dedicated – but the majority of us pretty much think the GOP has become a sad freak show – it soap opera material.
        Trump gave two State AG’s donations (FL&TX) – both got the donation and then dropped consideration of a Trump Law Suit – by the time November comes they could both be charged very soon – that’s going to be a great news day – think I am blowing smoke? – Google Trump Bondi –
        He gave Pam Bondi a donation from his own Trump Foundation – that got him noticed by IRS
        Good luck –

    • Diane’re one of those fanatics who never stops talkin’.. who no one ever really listens to, aren’t you

      • LoveUSAHateTheHate

        Diane, in debate 101 when all you have left are personal insults as an argument – well you lose the debate –
        Heck, you opened up with insults – which means you have nothing of substance to add to this conversation.

      • LoveUSAHateTheHate

        Diane – No substance to add? Nothing to add? Do you just troll and drop little crap notes and run away?
        Really is your internal self-esteem so low all you can do judge others and call people out?
        Really tell me what you think about cannabis laws, cannabis market, and cannabis in general –
        Or are you just some political troll searching for anyone suggesting Trump is not the messiah or the Great White Hope –
        I suspect you’re just a political troll – just another paid or unpaid one eyed yellow minion of the con “Despicable” Don

    • LoveUSAHateTheHate

      Dave – Why for me it No Never Trump
      Trump has Obvious Ties to the Russians
      Trump Lies – every other sentence is either a verifiable lie or such a fantastic suggestion “I know more about ISIS then Generals” as to be unbelievable – He will say anything to get you to vote for him – in the AM he says one thing to white audience, two hours later to black audience 180 degree –
      Trump bribed both Florida and Texas State AG’s to not engage in law suits against him – only two State AG’s Trump ever gave a political contribution to, he did so weeks before they made a decision to not pursue litigation – it’s a direct example of Trumps admission of I Pay them and they do what I say concept of government – Trump and both State AG’s will be in front of a judge on this soon – this is Watergate level issue –
      Trump Incites violence regularly against other politicians, SCOTUS, protestors – anyone that disagrees with him (but not Putin, Putin his buddy)
      Trump Mental patient – is described using mental health terms by most people – egomaniac narcissistic, misogynistic …..
      Trump is easily called out to fight – He is willing to engage in public pissing contest with – well any 3rd grader it appears – at 3 am if need be
      Trump on security – Trump gets a Classified Security briefing – discusses it publicly within 24 hours (no emails to hack just live for the world)
      And finally there are two core ideas he communicates that are basically evil in nature
      1. That any problems we have in USA (which are completely overblown) are someone else’s fault – that the “Other” are causing these issues – others being different race, religion, economic class or Political Party).

      2. He alone with an Iron fist and a “Your Fired” management style will fix the problem in Washington

      Trumps con is to relieve us of our responsibility – and blame others
      First we are experiencing a time of great abundance in this country today – with gas low, unemployment low – we are not in an active boot’s on the ground full blown war.
      If you feel we are all not responsible, that this is someone else’s issue – you need too re-evaluate what was life like in 2007/2008 and what’s going on today – economically and politically and on the daily body count in war –
      We have short memories –

  • DrAloha

    I’m all for legalization, etc. but there is NO WAY that making a deal with this devil is worth ANY single issue (nor any issue, for that matter)

  • Barbara H


  • LoveUSAHateTheHate

    Despicable is actually one of the nicer terms the voting public considers Trump
    or is it just an adverb to all his other attributes? example Despicable racist

  • LoveUSAHateTheHate

    Let the States decide cannabis laws – (means I don’t want to piss off either group) its really a complete cop out on any candidate’s response list – it means I don’t know or care enough but would rather not take a side – but it does not mean I have a position one way or the other – remember no politicians have legalized cannabis – it’s been a people driven state amendments that have legalized cannabis, not politicians. NH was close but they failed as well. Where every poll shows a majority of American’s support legalization and the politicians say let the states deal with it –
    Vote Yes on your State cannabis Amendments and vote for politicians that say Yes I support full legalization and de-scheduling (not rescheduling) of cannabis. Vote for parties whose platforms support this (hint one party does have cannabis support mentioned in platform the other is absent/silent on a written position)

  • Grimtrout

    Hillary for prison 2016. Where she really belongs…. RIP for those she let die…

  • LoveUSAHateTheHate

    What he really supports is Stop and Frisk – and if your black or brown – it means Trump will stop you and shake you down without cause –
    Stop and Frisk needs cannabis to be illegal – otherwise it does not work
    Really you thought he was going to allow legalization?
    Trump is a Stop and Frisk guy

  • LoveUSAHateTheHate

    Chloe – as I write this Trump is making a speech doubling down on the War on Drugs – how on earth do you think this canidate will support cannabis? he supports Stop and Frisk –

    Care to update this opinion? or is this a news segment?

    Please clarify for the Leafy readers –

    Do you or does Leafy endorse Trump? are you telling us that he is a better candidate for Cannabis legalization?