George Rohrbacher: Trump Administration Plans To Ramp Up Government Regulation and Stifle New Marijuana Businesses

By George Rohrbacher,
Former Washington State Senator (R),
Former NORML board member

George Rohrbacher
George Rohrbacher

The Trump White House statement last week of plans for stricter enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states with newly voter-approved recreational marijuana laws signals Trump’s surprisingly pro-regulation, anti-business, anti-Liberty stance.

Cannabis prohibition is perhaps one of America’s most onerous forms of government regulation, regulation enforcement that comes with prison time and possible asset confiscation, regulation that has produced over 25,000,000 marijuana arrests. Think about that stunningly gigantic number for a moment. POT PROHIBITION IS GOVERNMENT REGULATION ON STEROIDS!

Marijuana legalization is the answer, and tens of millions of American voters have said so. They have repeatedly said, “YES”, to cannabis. This “culture war,” brewing for three or four generations, has finally been brought to a head by the voters themselves doing an end-run around the system. Even though we won 8 out of 9 cannabis legalization election efforts this past fall, the Trump Administration wants to turn back the clock.

As the American voter has taken their cannabis rights back state by state, a new, legal multi-billion dollar cannabis industry has sprung up- bigger, faster and more diversified than anyone expected. The Trump-Sessions Justice Department wants to kill it. Beyond just getting high, new unexpected markets are springing up everywhere, from upscale middle-aged women looking for a non-psychoactive sleep aid (CBD, etc.), to geriatric patients in nursing homes looking for a little more spring in their step, to a non-toxic substitute for prescription painkillers, drastically reducing opioid deaths and use. The markets this industry-in-the-making will service extend from getting-a-buzz-on, to optimum human health, and everything else in between. The Trump Administration has plans to stifle these burgeoning businesses!

The supposed lines of distinction between the categories of recreational and medical use of marijuana are not recognizable to this cannabis consumer with 48 years of experience. I’ve used pot daily for half-a-century because it makes me feel good. Farming for 40 of those years, my spine has received quite a beating and I’ve used cannabis for the pain of that too. The line between these two uses? Is there one? No, there are none.

Attorney General Sessions believes that while medical use might be okay sometimes, “recreational use is very, very different” (please cue up a showing of REEFER MADNESS). “Good people do not use marijuana,” Sessions believes. And those bad pot using people, like me, felons all by federal law, deserve to be arrested.

Under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is a Schedule I Drug. This gives our myopic, over-regulating federal government license to treat hemp like heroin. Schedule I Drugs, by their very definition, have no accepted medical use. While at this very same time, according to PubMed, the prohibited cannabis and its many surprisingly active cannabinoids show over 24,000 references in medical studies, half of them done within the last 10 years. This includes a VERY, VERY important clinical trial released just last month, done in England: a randomized, placebo-controlled study that showed cannabinoids effective in controlling blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics. Being that 1 out of 8 American adults suffers from diabetes, a disease with devastating health, societal, and economic costs, one would think that the discovery of an all-natural, non-toxic new treatment option for this horrible disease would be met with a standing ovation from the White House, instead of promises of increased Draconian Government Regulation.

If President Trump wants to live up to his pre-election rhetoric and take real action on those promises to cut government regulation…. Well, try this: Earth to Trump! Earth to Trump! De-Schedule Marijuana, for God’s sake.

To maintain their fantasy that marijuana is a dangerous drug and has no medical use while 29 states have legal medical marijuana, the people at the Justice Department who really truly believe that cannabis should be listed as a Schedule I Drug must be smoking something far, far stronger and much more dangerous than pot.

I’ve worn many hats in my life, the most important: dad, granddad, and husband. Also cattle rancher and farmer, small businessman, state senator and board member of NORML. I’m an active citizen married 47 years to a cannabis-using former school superintendent. I’ve been involved in local and regional land use planning, community development, wildlife and historical preservation. And all these many years those many hats have been sitting on a good-for-nothing, unrepentant pot-head.

As a farmer, I am by my very definition conservative. I served in the legislature as a Republican, from a party that believes in reducing government regulation and freeing up business to serve America…. And being able to make a profit while doing it!

Americans across the nation are clamoring: “Tax me, tax me, just please stop arresting me!” Hundreds of millions of new tax dollars to build schools and fix our roads have been generated by legal recreational marijuana sales. The Trump Administration wants to kill this new tax-generating business. Why??? Is it to protect Trump’s buddies at Big Pharma, Big Booze and Big Tobacco who worry about cannabis potentially cutting into their profits? Or is this Trump’s effort to harken back to the Greatness of the Ideas, Beliefs and Failed Policies of Richard Millhouse Nixon?

In attempting to answer this question: Why? Just run down the list of tried-and-true one-line answers to that question. My favorite is: “BUT, BUT… WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???”

Yes, a very good question, indeed. It is THE question. It is always, ultimately, about the children. Those 25,000,000 Americans arrested for pot that I mentioned earlier in this piece? Every single last one of them was someone’s child, someone’s grandchild. And many, many of them had children of their own. And the toll on children of color is many times that of whites. Millions of lives have been ruined, and countless families were destroyed by these arrests.

Yes. Absolutely. It is all about the children. Which is why it is time to end marijuana prohibition.

Click here to join me in calling upon our members of Congress to join the newly formed Congressional Cannabis Caucus and finally re-legalize marijuana.

40 thoughts

  1. Hear! Hear! Well written article! Recreation is a form of therapy! What a concept?

    After the betrayal from Libertarian Senators JeffFlake, R-AZ and Rand Paul, R-KY its so refreshing to read some authentic Republican leadership on cannabis reform. Thank you Mr. Rorhbacher. You make me enjoy my weed.

    But as someone who wards off the Trump trolls on this blog (regularly… Im at home with influenza curin up on weed, mugwort, garlic and this blog right now MSimon so dont start with me), and as someone who is proud to work with my state Republican Representative here in Texas, Jason Isaac, who is leading the way on co-sponsoring HB 81
    I must be critical of one thing; PLEASE everyone dont waste your fingertips or breath on the sinking Russian submarine this Trump administration has become; Click on the green Act tab on this webpage and let’s focus on our state and federal Congress to reform marijuana law!

    Citizen lobby! Its more than a hobby!

    1. This Russia thing is no joke. Ask yourself, why WAS Trump going to leave it to the states; and now, after several of his people mixed up with Russia, and his own unusual fascination, he now wants to do a Nixon drug war? “Stop all drugs!” is what this clown is saying. He is trying to demonize pot and pot users pure and simple. He is going to make marijuana synonymous with gang violence so that he can crack down on his illegal alien problem as well as generate huge amounts thru forfeiture, and a general ramp up of the criminal justice/prison industrial complex. This is his game to boost the economy and give his voters deportation. So where does Russia fit in? Putin HATES marijuana. There will never be medical marijuana in Putin’s Russia. Putin also dictates Christianity and does not believe in gay rights, abortions, and all the other freedoms that LIBERAL democracies enjoy. Right out of the gate Trump gets rid of the transsexual restroom rights. He puts highly religious people in charge of things and a bible thumping vice president who wants to take away planned parenthood and abortions. Sound familiar? It sounds like bleeping Russia! So this Russia interference and worldwide scam by Putin is NOT fake news.

      I know all you Alex Jones and Drudge people will say that Trump is right about CNN. CNN is not anymore fake than infowars! The only difference is the spin. So now you got Trump destroying the credibility of the free press. Where does this sound familiar? Bleeping Russia! That is where they kill journalists if they don’t get the story strait.

      People right now should be emailing and calling their representatives to get Sessions to resign! If he gets caught with this Russia scam he can’t shut down legal marijuana. And remember, Sessions, Putin and all the other religious freaks who want to dictate how to live have bloody hands and feet. And this is attracting all kinds of hungry animals looking to put nature back into balance….

      1. Karl Marx: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”.

        Just say no to religion; religion is the real drug problem that keeps people low because instead of knowledge they are seeking to be-lie-(ve) themselves by abandoning self responsibility and putting that power in the hands of an imaginary construct. Just say yes to mind expanding, life reflecting marijuana use; and take back your power by being the self responsible engine that nature intended.

      2. Demigods need a scapegoat and Pot smokers, LGBT, immigrants,, non-Christians, women, low wage workers, Unions, are among their traditional favorites…
        Distracts people from the fact that he drained the swamp to find rats for his Cabinet.

      3. Oh I didnt say Trump’s ties to Russia were a joke, Jeedi… Even Republicans in the House are demanding his taxes now:

        All I was saying is focus on Congress because Trump is not in a state of mind to help any state of mind, body, out-of-body… or what Im saying is Trump cant even help himself and he needs to be divested and deposed post haste.

        As I expressed in a previous post Trump keeps Trumping his own low standards as he continues to meet with the Russian money launderer Dimitry Ryoblovlev:

        He’s just throwing everyone that supports him under the bus as con men like Trump will do… and lucky us AG Sessions is next.

      4. Got it Julian,

        Thanks for the clarity. RIGHT NOW everybody should be emailing and calling their reps about this RUSSIA thing. DEMAND AN INVESTIGATION. Also contact your reps about Trump’s outrageous president Obama wire tap nonsense; call for an investigation here too. Be relentless, keep hitting these people until things start bending our way. It is time to diversify resistance against this crazy administration by hitting Trump and his ilk on issues unrelated to marijuana. CHARGE….

      1. Don’t worry, MSimon, I’ve been waiting for you. Figured your punk ass would show up again eventually. I’m here to kick your ass.

        And as happens once in a rare while, I agree with you: Convincing more Republicans WOULD be a good thing.

        The problem is, little bitch, Republicans like you have no intention of listening to reason.

        You live in a world of alternative facts, the purpose of which is deception. That’s why I don’t like you — you’re an intransigent liar. Prepare for your ass-beating, MSimon, here it comes:

        MSimon, you and your kind have no interest in being convinced of anything. You are intellectually dishonest. You run away from a robust analysis like a chickenshit, and are too delusional to make sense of a logical argument, in any case.

        Further, your agenda is clear: the promotion of Trump and his white supremacist purging of people of color.

        Your agenda is the promotion of Trump, not cannabis. Your support for cannabis legalization is a front for your Trump propaganda.

        So, once again, screw you, MSimon.

        Hope you enjoyed your ass-beating. Now get the fuck out of here.

  2. C’mon Congress ? It’s time to take a stand and END Federal Marijuana prohibition once and for all !!!

  3. Hats off in a deep bow, Mr. Rohrbacher, well said!

    This madness has to stop, not at some point in the future….exactly NOW! How dare these deeply grafted politicians think they can decide that we MUST use a deadly pharma capsule rather than a homegrown free remedy!

    I, too, suffer from severe spinal issues, but very unfortunately live in the so-called commonwealth of Virginia. I’ve written every legislator I could find in an attempt at pleading the case for the proven pain relief I know exists in that plant. Zero responses. I’ve met with reps in person….blank stares followed by excuses. At the same time, a simple search of these same legislators shows their chief campaign contributors are universally big pharma, followed by the liquor, wine and beer industries. Go figure. It’s a criminal syndicate and like all crime families they’re all doing quite well. When I read just today that Trump and his handlers have a “happy hour” regularly to hash out future plans, I couldn’t help but think how twisted this system is.

    One thing I know for sure…these imposters will be overwhelmed to say the least when they attempt to set up a police state around existing state legal cannabis platforms. They’ll probably send in the troops, showing just how determined they are to stifle these programs. They won’t stand a chance. Peace will win the day – eventually.

  4. I salute George Rohrbacher for this article. I agree with it 100%. It is outrageous that the federal govt refuses to do the will of the people and instead choosing to steal from them and lock them up. This is absolutely not my idea of America!!!

    Had I know all of this as a young 17 year old when I joined the USMC, thus risking my life, to serve this country that I would be serving the greedy cold-hearted racists (like Jeffrey Sessions among others) that make the laws here.

    I wouldn’t do it again.

  5. We weren’t all of us surprised by this behavior on Trump’s part. Some of us understood all along that his run for the Presidency was pure scam, and never about public service, and all about personal self-enrichment.

    And so far, it’s been my worst-case scenario unfolding ever since the election. I’d like very much for that trend to end!

    To that end, I am contacting my representative regularly. I attend protests when I can!

  6. Our Creator gave us certain INALIENABLE rights (not the Declaration, not the Bill of Rights..they just codified the fact)…of which are the individual’s right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We the People gave government the right to make laws which PROTECT our right to L, L and the PoH, not to RESTRICT them….unless our exercise of infringe upon the rights of other Free People. Therefor, any law prohibiting ANYTHING that doesn’t interfere with another’s rights are ILLEGAL! Our whole system of law was created to PROTECT our Freedom! Who the hell is the government to take away our freedoms? They haven’t been given the authority or power by the People to tread on our Freedom. In essence its like me knocking on my neighbor’s door and putting them in shackles because they spend too much time rocking on their porch chair. It’s none of my business. And what I choose to own, use, sell, share, grow or build is none of government’s business.
    Our whole system has become tyrannical and Sessions is the biggest buffoon of them all.
    We need to RISE UP and not take this anymore!!!!

  7. We need to demand an answer to this fundamental question from our government:

    What document conveys the authority from the People to the People’s representatives to make laws prohibiting personal freedoms?

    I’ve written 2 congressmen and one senator and the answer I received was crickets.

    1. @ Mike Securo,
      Yeah. That will piss you off. And when you do get a response, it’s either one gigantic “fuck you, I’m gonna do what I want” or, something so vague and meaningless, you just know your being bullshitted.

      That was a big problem for me. What to do now? I wondered. My so-called “representative” just told me to go fuck myself. Now what?

      Well, as part of an ongoing education on these matters, I stopped taking the content of the letters quite as personally. I learned that they count the calls, and make decisions based on that (maybe), but that my letter was just another increment on a count on that particular issue. But I’ll admit, the rude and condescending return letters were a shock to me, too!

      Then, I figured, why not fight fire with fire, and send THEM LOTS of form letters, make THEM eat it!! I started sending more form letters back at them! So, might I suggest:

      Give ’em hell!

      1. They are getting hell;) I would imagine our representatives are getting hammered with pro-marijuana. Marijuana is probably the BIGGEST issue they are getting in their inboxes, and phone calls. This is why you are seeing so much Fed marijuana law bills and acts now. These people are getting swamped by this issue; and on the other hand many don’t know how to handle it so they are pretending it will go away. I know myself, I have contacted my reps more this year than I ever have. These people are GONNA hear from me ALL THE TIME. And I suggest that everyone here do the same, as well as get their family and friends to hammer these people. We are going to win. Trump and his ilk are a disease that will destroy themselves.

      2. My congressman thanked me for my view. Then he said his stance on cannabis will not change. He said “marijuana is a dangerous, addictive gateway drug that cannot be legalized.” His name is Andy Harris (R-MD), the anti legalization big time prohibitionist. Harris is the reason DC has no regulated cannabis market. Rep. Harris also want to close the DC cannabis “gifting” loophole.

  8. Thank you for this great read!

    Congress needs to do something before April.

    If cannabis is not removed from the CSA, then the grumpy Trumpies will see that as weakness. And, predatory as they are if you let the protections expire this April they will see that as further weakness on the part of the cannabis community, and then they will unleash the federal dawgz.

    1. Yeah. The way these duplicitous fuckers speak, I take all this to mean, not that they support a “hands off” approach to state marijuana legalization (that’s the deception), but that actually they support the imminent expiration of the Cole Memo, and the remainder of our legal protections. They support the “green light” to crackdown which, legally, they will have at that point in time.

      This would be misleading on their part, of course, but, nothing new about that!

  9. These old excuses for a drug war have been lost in debates years ago. Legal marijuana outlets, dispensaries should be having their patients and customers e-mail and call their representatives. This madman Trump can try and demonize marijuana by resurrecting an already failed Reagan drug war but there are literally millions of legal consumers who are NOT going back to “just say no.” This means protests when bust occur at our dispensaries; and going to comment sections and yelling about the travesty.

    Many people still think marijuana is the devil. They also think it is unhealthy like smoking cigarettes. This momentum from the drug war years of the past can be resurrected pretty easily unless folks stand up. I for one am going to stand up. I am not going back into the closet. I challenge any so-called authoritarian like Trump who would try to demonize marijuana by making us out as unhealthy, sick fools; and only the sick and dying should be subjected to the “dangers” of marijuana. The stereo type of the dead end stoner must be stopped! I have used marijuana most of my life. Like George I have been successful in life. A role model of excellence and success as an accomplished athlete; and to this day I mountain bike about 100 miles per week, medicated with marijuana. And I am tearing up the trail even with all my past injuries. I do not eat junk food. I do not take pharma. I take a host of natural supplements. I lead a spiritual life. I drive a car that gets 45mpg, I recycle. I go out of my way to think of the planet and my fellow human being.

    I am damned if some orange nut, who is bloated up on junk food, abuses women, racist xenophobe, who is alarming populations of people, is going to make me out as “a criminal”. I doubt anybody else here is going to stand for it either. We got Trump red handed. We have the truth.

    1. FYI, “red handed” is a racist term. I’m sure you’re unaware of it like most people, but it is a term created that insinuates that Native American Indians are criminals.

      1. No disrespect to Native Americans intended. My “red handed” comment has nothing to do with this racism, but rather red being the color of blood. Trump and his ilk are bleeding like wounded prey. And as we see in nature, the weak in the herd are sacrificed so that the strong in the herd continue. This is the way of nature and reality. All I am doing is trying to turn the predators away from us (strong nature, mother nature marijuana), and turn them to the bleeding and diseased that are against this same nature.

  10. a voice of sanity..

    cbd’s in cannabis are real god given
    medicine and brain food..
    despite what any pro-blackmarket supporter
    may think or say..


  11. It’s not and never has been about the children. I find it’s about the adults who don’t like legal marijuana and use that as a scapegoat. Same as Obama’s Gun control garbage. It was never about the kids it’s about Politics and Utopian garbage.

    1. Gun lobby? Oh hell no. Don’t start that, or I’ll have to start in on toddlers with guns. That’s just about everybody that owns one.

      Like Tom Hanks said on Saturday Night Live: “Drop it!”

  12. I wrote a letter to Trump, a few of them..
    With all the reasons all cannabis people know about.. .. and one way of seeing it that some don’t see with Trump.
    Trump likes to be the “one Guy” that can get something done that others just can’t seem to.

    For example the skating rink in NYC that was under construction for 6 years, Trump got it done in 5 months.

    My point to Trump was that he could be that “one guy” that could get this done and as a result be a nationwide hero as well as a world-wide freedom fighter for the people.
    We never know, but he ‘could’ actually get a Nobel prize for civil rights.

    We all know that the stroke of the president’s pen can remove cannabis from the list without even talking about ‘legalization’, it’s a ‘states rights issue’ and leave ti at that.

  13. Thought for the day: Regarding the Cole Memo, Trump supporters do not get to blame President Obama and the Democrats for not doing more to protect us from… Trump. That’s illogical bullshit.

    Some Progressives and Democrats may wish to make the case that Obama wasn’t progressive enough. Others on the political left will be grateful for the singular tolerance he showed toward the legalization movement during his two terms in office.

    And, naturally, Trump cultists will try to rub that division on the left into liberal’s faces. Standard operating procedure.

    But the Trump cultists don’t get to make that particular claim themselves. “Period.” “.”

  14. The answer to the question is that law enforcement is using prohibition to run a scam on the people, the police and drug enforcement people are makeing their livelyhood and WELL BEING of of an undercover drug cartels across america. They incorporate specified police protected drug dealers to manufacture and distribute the marijuana to our children in schools and everywhere else so as to increase a need to hire more police officers, more arrests, more private prisons, more money for the lawyers, it’s like a rolling ball of greed that’s on fire and they do not want their money perpetuating fireball of greed to be doused by any measures of legalization so they can continue running their scam against the will of the people. The military and veterans are also involved. It’s all a big scam and it needs to be stopped. Jeff Sessions has even lied under oath in the congressional hearings and deserves to be sentenced for that alone, Sessions is a racist and has prohibitionist beliefs of the days of “Reefer Madness”. Trump is also a liar and is a disgrace to the American nation and should also be impeached for trying to undermine the people of this nation. End Prohibition, legalize cannabis and get cannabis out of the hands of the cruel greedy government cartels being run by the state agencies.

  15. the other “whataboutthechildren” answer is that with legal access comes accountability. Street dealers don’t check id’s but licensed establishments do.

  16. Forrest Trump. He just… felt like running?! Sometimes, things in life just don’t make no sense? We got involved in some fruit company… Well, we don’t have to worry about money no more. Marihuana and prison go together like peas and carrots!

    1. Some comedian once said, “If only Trump had gone into porn, instead of politics. Then everything would have made sense.”

  17. I’m fairly sure he didn’t know that. I didn’t know where the phrase “caught red handed” came from.

    I had a sinking feeling about Trump on election night. Many that voted for him will never admit their mistake. To those who voted for Trump because they thought he’d “let the states decide,” well, you’ve been Trumped!

  18. Oh, and besides Sessions another one to have to worry about is HHS Secretary Tom Price, a man dead set against Medical cannabis. He’s also opposed to opioid therepy, by the way. So Price will do for medical what Sessions to recreational. And take away many peoples pain meds. These people are diabolical and sadistic.

  19. Great advice, parctiularly about the commute. I know I spent one of my first years out of college in a gorgeous apartment, but I lived so far away from where I needed to be that I was constantly stressing out about the commute.

  20. I would like to put forth the idea that for every person that has the balls and courage to post pro-marijuana messages on this site that there are at least a million others that don’t even though they agree that it should be legal for medical and recreational (if there is truly anything distinguishing between the two..) use.

    In some cases they are scared that the Feds will track them and they may end up in some kind of trouble; depending on where they live. For example, two of my good friends that love the herb wouldn’t even consider making any kind of marijuana related post. One of them is an ex-police officer, and the other is a school teacher. They greatly fear the powers that be in our country! This is so wrong!!!

    I could easily point to many others who choose not to add to these discussions out of fear but who would, in a heartbeat, given the chance vote for legalization.

    Many millions of us want the unjust laws that have ruined so many hundreds of thousands (and no doubt caused great damage to many more) to be changed. We want legalization. We want to be able to take care of our families and be able to use the herb for whatever reason we choose without having to fear some government funded thugs are going to break into our houses in the middle of the night, steal our stuff, and subsequently lock us up. This is supposed to be a free country after all.

    I ask that we Americans be allowed, nationwide, to vote on it. I am tired of politicians deciding everything for us in the guise of representing us when they don’t – They Do Not represent us. If they did, cannabis would have been legal a really long time ago.

  21. our state voted for medical mary which would help my excruating spasms but the state politicians want to shoot it down. I going to vote democrat all the way next time even put a note on my calendar.

  22. 3 year’s 9 months 10 days & 5 MINUTES left of Trump hysteria.

    HE’S A FUCKING JOKE! GOOD BYE REPUBLICAN CREDIBILITY! HE’S YOUR BEST CHOICE, WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT YOUr DECISION MAKING??? TRUMP, SESSIONS, RYAN YOUR TIME RUNNING OUT…Let hope we we can “make America Great Again” once your gone. What Evers left of it once Trump/Putin are done with us!

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