Said he’d vote for the man who paid the biggest price The next day at the polls

On February 10th, the Trump administration released the budget plan for fiscal year 2021. The plan attracted a lot of attention from cannabis industry actors because it would end existing policy protecting state medical marijuana programs from Justice Department interference, the Cole MemorandumCongress is already pushing back. 

While the President’s plan is not a positive development for marijuana in the U.S., let’s consider the whole equation. This is ultimately a political strategy — designed to attract voters in an election year, rather than reflecting Trump’s or his administration’s true position on legalization.

Party Politics in Action

As always, middle voters decide elections, so this is party politics in action. The left and the right already know whom they’re going to vote for in November, giving the middle true electoral power. I think it’s fair to say that most in the middle don’t fall in line with Trump’s politics, but job growth and economic stability are currently favorable. So are rising personal income, overall GDP, etc. This will undoubtedly swing a considerable number of middle voters to him, but what about marijuana and swing voters?

The President’s political strategists are asking themselves how many middle voters will Trump get if he green lights marijuana legalization, versus opposing progressive marijuana policy. The strategists have studied the data, based on rigorous polling and surveying (and man, would I love to have a look at those numbers).

We’re nine short months from Election Day. It’s time to start swinging voters and the strategists will use every tool in their arsenal, including the marijuana issue. Do we know exactly how they’ll do this? No, and we can’t say with certainty what their position is. It’s still too close to call.

Simply put, the decision will be rendered on whether being pro- or con-marijuana will give Trump more voters. That’s how political sausage is made.