Make America Libertarian Again

We are now nipple-deep in the fiery abyss that is summer in Florida, but temperatures are dropping down south in Hell, which has apparently frozen over, if recent statements by the president are any indication. Donald Trump—you remember him, right?—was in Canada last week, attending the G7 summit in Ottawa, when he took a moment during a tête-à-tête with the traveling press corps to augment their usual fake news with some real news: Trump came right out and declared tentative support for ongoing efforts to nullify the current federal ban on marijuana, which has been in full effect for about 50 years—or 80, depending on your perspective.

In so doing, the president puts himself in league with Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who just recently introduced the STATES Act, which would obviate the federal ban in those states which have already legalized it. It stands in defiance to people like future-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose backers have (allegedly) compelled him to stand firmly athwart history, threatening to use his Justice Department to intervene against the will of the voters. Trump’s words were surprising, given his diamond-hard-right posturing in the modern era, but it’s worth remembering that, for much of his public life, Comrade Prezbo held to a fairly libertarian stance on most social issues.

In a July 2016 TV interview, candidate Trump flatly refused to support using federal power to intervene against pro-pot populations, saying, “I’m a states person. I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.” He spoke more explicitly at a campaign rally in Nevada in October 2015, saying, “The marijuana thing is such a big thing. I think medical should happen—right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states. It should be a state situation … but I believe that the legalization of marijuana—other than for medical because I think medical, you know I know people that are very, very sick and for whatever reason, the marijuana really helps them … but in terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.”

The left is certainly inclined to take his words with a grain of salt (if not the entire à la carte salt bar at Whole Foods), and many may rightly see this as a cynical play to mute a high Democratic turnout in November. But, as they say in the wide world of sports, “A win is a win,” and politics is a contact sport. Maybe a contact high is just what the president needs to mellow out and Make America Great Again.