U.S. President Donald Trump has again made it very clear he’ll do what he likes when it comes to medical marijuana.
Last Friday, President Trump signed H.R. 1158, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020” into law, which authorizes appropriations to fund the operation of certain agencies in the Federal Government through to September 30 next year.
Division B, section 531 of the Act says none of the funds it makes available to the Department of Justice may be used to prevent (most) states or territories from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana. Not included by this protection are South Dakota, Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska.
The wording presents a bit of a problem for the Trump Administration as while hemp is legal in the USA, marijuana is not at a Federal level. In his accompanying notes on the signing of H.R. 1158, President Trump says:
“My Administration will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”
This has worried some that he is about to make a move against medical cannabis. However, it’s not the first time it has occurred.
Back in 2017, we reported similar wording was used in notes accompanying President Trump’s signing of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill), without any subsequent impact. It’s likely just a signal reminding folks who is in charge of the county.
In September this year, President Trump indicated he was taking a wait-and-see approach to marijuana generally and continuing to allow states to make their own decisions.
While he has been known to change his mind on things from time to time, by his own admission the President is a ” stable genius” and hopefully there will be some positive progress on medicinal cannabis at a federal level in the not-too-distant future.
Being a self-described hugely successful businessman, no doubt he can already see the positive impact to the economy medical cannabis has had and can have – and also realises the potential for it to do good among those who could benefit most from it.