Players in the marijuana industry have been following the presidential campaigns and election keenly because of the implications of the new presidency to the industry. After a heated campaign period, Trump has won the presidency. The win is good news for his supporters and the marijuana industry as well. Trump has never held a public office before and hence it has been hard for law reformers to predict his move on the legalization of marijuana. However, many legal analysts believe that he will think like a businessman and legalize the drugs because of the high revenues that the industry generates every year. States such as California that have legalized cannabis for medical use have benefited from high tax revenues and low costs of law enforcement.
Trump’s stand on legalization of marijuana has been slippery, which is understandable because of the implications of such laws. However, his responses to questions on the issue and his comments during campaigns indicate that he may support legalization of the drug, especially for medical use. Financial analysts predict $6.7 billion in profits from the industry in 2016. It is unlikely that Trump will ignore such a high income for the country. In one interview at The O’Reilly Factor, Trump revealed his reason for not giving a straight forward on his support or lack of support of marijuana legalization. The drug has negative effects on the user’s health.
Trump issued public statements in the 1990s proposing legalization as the way to win the war on drugs. Many state laws prohibit the use of marijuana especially for recreational purpose but the number of drugs users continues to increase in most states every year. The new president-elect has not denied his position during his campaigns. However, he has been more inclined to legalizing marijuana for medical use and has publicly declared his one hundred percent support for such laws. Trump believes that medical marijuana helps patients with serious health conditions. This could be one of the reasons why he thinks legalizing the drug is good in some ways.
Another reason why Trump’s presidency is good for the marijuana industry is his stand on job creation. During the campaigns, Trump has indicated consistently that he intends to create 25 million jobs to revive the US economy. In the year 2015, the marijuana industry created about 200,000 new jobs. The annual revenue from legal cannabis is expected to increase to $21.8 billion by 2020. Trump is likely to consider the industrial contribution to his promise of creating new jobs and achieving higher levels of economic growth. Allowing the legalization of cannabis in many more states will increase the number of new jobs that the industry creates annually.
One of the issues that Trump has raised in his presidential campaigns and debates is high government spending. The federal and state governments have been spending billions of dollars on the war on drugs. For instance, in the year 2010, the federal government spent $15 billion while local and state governments spent an additional $25 billion in enforcing drug laws. Part of the spending goes to maintaining overcrowded prisons. Trump has criticized previous governments for superfluous spending. Hence, he may cut off the spending on drug enforcement if he will deliver all his campaign promises.
Trump has indicated before that Americans are unwilling to do anything about the war on drugs because enforcement has proved ineffective. The only rational alternative is to legalize the drug. While it is still early to predict what Trump presidency will do about the war on drugs, there are undeniable signs that Trump is likely to support law reformers on making cannabis legal. Cannabis growers, distributors, and users have every reason to celebrate Trump’s win.