There is a lot of media focus on the Donald Trump, the billionaire candidate for GOP presidential nomination in 2016, and his various antics on the national stage. Nevertheless, little has been covered about his stance on drug policy, specifically on cannabis prohibition. In stark contrast to the ridiculous farce Trump's campaign has become, the same man once made perfect sense in realizing the War on Drugs was a spectacular failure – in 1990, that is.
“You have to take the profit away,” he told the audience at a Miami Herald event 25 years ago, “we are losing badly the War on Drugs … You have to legalize drugs”.
Now, because either Mr. Trump has truly lost his senses or he is merely courting the socially reactionary, bottom-feeding elements of the body politic, he now champions prohibition. He, of course, blames Mexicans for the violence in drug trade. That's the type of classless demagoguery that has, sadly, fueled his disgusting rise to the top of the polls.
Notwithstanding with the new-found prohibitionist stance he has adopted likely to fit with his Mexicans-ruined-everything rhetoric, he still has to concede that medical use of cannabis should be permitted and states should be allowed to make their own policy. On medicinal use Trump said he was “100%” for it. This make the present-day Trump much more sensible than quite a few GOP candidates in the running like Scott Walker, Marco Rubio or Chris Christie, who openly promise to unleash their prohibitionist wrath to run roughshod on states opting to legalize.
Among a crop of top contenders for the country’s presidency, Donald Trump is one among the “less terrible” when it comes to cannabis. This is a perfect illustration of how insanely out-of-touch the federal politicians are with the general public. Indeed, Matt Welch of the Daily Beast fumed, “the fact that even Donald freaking Trump has more history of being right on the Drug War than Hillary Clinton should be deeply embarrassing for America.” A correction for Welch: this is not embarrassing for America. The people in states and towns of America are embracing cannabis reform. It's the Washington D.C. circus that is such a nightmarish disgrace.
It does give us some perspective, however, that when outside of the blood sports ring of politics, even a buffoon like Donald Trump knew as early as 1990 that the drug war was doomed. It is incumbent upon us, then, to make the sheltered, bought-off political class realize that burying their heads in the sand when it comes to cannabis prohibition has electoral consequences. It starts at the local and state levels. Join Peace on our Streets, and we can pull the rug out from the feds and their presidential clown show by legalizing it whether they like it or not!