In a new interview about President Trump’s position on changing federal marijuana laws, a top reelection campaign aide said cannabis and other illegal drugs should stay illegal.
“I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent of a young person to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,” Marc Lotter, director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 effort, said in an interview with Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.
“They need to be kept illegal,” he said. “That is the federal policy.”
When asked about the growing number of states legalizing marijuana use, he had this to say:
“I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level,” Lotter said. “I know many states have taken a different path.”
President Trump has consistently voiced support for states’ rights to set their own marijuana laws when asked about the issue.
“We’re going to see what’s going on. It’s a very big subject and right now we are allowing states to make that decision,” he said last year. “A lot of states are making that decision, but we’re allowing states to make that decision.”
Trump has issued signed statements reserving his right to ignore a congressionally approved protection for state medical marijuana laws, and his budget requests have included a provision that blocks Washington, D.C. from spending its own local tax dollars to legalize cannabis sales.
Lotter: “If he changes that, obviously that would be something I wouldn't want to get out in front of him on that,”
Among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), along with former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and businessman Tom Steyer support federally legalizing marijuana.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg both oppose legalizing cannabis but have backed modest reforms such as decriminalizing possession and expunging past records.