Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has blasted the Trump administration’s stated policy toward cannabis law, calling it “wrong and unethical” for the president to follow through on a crackdown on states in which the substance has been legalized for recreational purposes.
The Trump administration has hinted since the November election that it was likely to target legalized cannabis.
First, the then-president-elect selected then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to serve as the administration’s attorney general. Sessions has a long history of opposition to cannabis legalization, even once going so far as to say that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Then, last week, the administration announced that it was likely to lead a crackdown on states that had legalized recreational cannabis. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the administration would follow through on enforcing federal law on the issue and even equated recreational cannabis use with the country’s opioid epidemic.
These maneuvers were met with strident opposition from scores of pro-cannabis activists and legislators, including a former governor of Minnesota.
Ventura gives refreshing viewpoint
A former professional wrestler, Jesse Ventura has long-held views on the issue of cannabis legalization.
Last year, Ventura co-authored a book entitled Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto in which he both extolled the virtues of cannabis and lamented what he sees as a wrongheaded approach by the federal government towards those who use the substance.
The former governor was candid in interviews about his love for the plant.
This plant is unbelievable… You’re not going to overdose… maybe over a period of months, you might gain some weight… I’d rather have someone take a hit of marijuana than be on Prozac.
Immediately following the election of President Trump to the nation’s highest office, Ventura held out hope that the then-forthcoming administration would defer to individual states on the issue of cannabis law enforcement.
Turning on Trump
Since the administration has ramped up its anti-cannabis rhetoric, however, Ventura has staked out a firmly anti-Trump stance when it comes to cannabis policy.
The former governor made his opinion on the matter known in an op-ed, published this past week, in which he lambastes the notion that there is any linkage between use of opioids and recreational cannabis.
If marijuana use did lead to opioid addiction, and that’s why we have a national heroin/opioid epidemic – because of legalized marijuana – then why is it that we have more people who use marijuana than we do people who are addicted to opioids? Wouldn’t every person who uses marijuana wind up a heroin/opioid addict?
Ventura then focuses his fire on private prisons – the vast majority of which are populated by non-violent drug offenders. Ventura draws a connection between campaign contributions from the private prison industry to Trump’s campaign, saying that the president now has an interest in keeping such institutions full at the expense of the American public.
If President Trump has his way, get ready. The corporations that run private prisons will be thriving. If more people are exercising their right to weed more frequently than their right to alcohol, then that’s a lot of folks to put behind bars.