In a move likely indicative of a coming resurgence in the long-running “war on drugs,” the Trump administration has appointed extreme marijuana prohibitionist, Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino to serve as U.S. drug czar, according to a report by CBS News. As drug czar, Marino would be responsible for coordinating drug control strategy and federal government funding of the “drug war.”
Marino is known as a rabid hardliner on drug policy, going so far as to proclaim that nonviolent drug offenders should be placed in a “hospital-slash-prison.” Congressman Marino is set to resign his position in the House to direct the Office of National Drug Policy Control, which advises President Trump on drug policy.
Since 2011, Marino has voted against amendments on three different occasions that would have prohibited the U.S Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis laws and allowed Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to give military veterans medical cannabis recommendations, according to MassRoots.
Additionally, Marino voted against a law to protect state-controlled CBD programs from federal crackdowns and has at least twice opposed industrial hemp legislation. Perhaps the biggest irony here is the fact that Marino, in an October interview with the Sun-Gazette, had the nerve to absurdly claim he’s a “states’ rights guy.”
In the same interview, he noted that the only way he would ever agree to legalizing cannabis would be after “a really in-depth medical scientific study.” Revealing his extreme level of ignorance about the veracity of medicinal cannabis, Marino said:
“If it does help people one way or another, then produce it in pill form … You can’t smoke it for this, but you take a pill. But don’t make an excuse because you want to smoke marijuana. Look what’s happening to states and cities who are legalizing it. They are running into a lot of problems.”
Revealing his extremist views on drug policy in testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, Marino noted:
“One treatment option I have advocated for years would be placing nondealer, nonviolent drug abusers in a secured hospital-type setting under the constant care of health professionals. Once the person agrees to plead guilty to possession, he or she will be placed in an intensive treatment program until experts determine that they should be released under intense supervision. If this is accomplished, then the charges are dropped against that person. The charges are only filed to have an incentive for that person to enter the hospital-slash-prison, if you want to call it.”
The appointment of a rapid prohibitionist as drug czar, in addition to having Attorney General Jeff “good people don’t smoke marijuana” Sessions helming the DOJ, seemingly indicates that we will see states’ rights rolled back in favor of allowing federal interference in state policy.
There is a clear and present danger of the combination of Sessions at the helm of the DOJ, and Marino as drug czar. They can attempt to usher in major policy changes that will likely result in a crackdown in states that have legalized the recreational, and even the medicinal use, of cannabis.
If Jeff Sessions appointment to Attorney General wasn’t enough of a wake-up call regarding the extreme danger legal cannabis currently faces, the appointment of Marino should elucidate that a major crackdown on marijuana is on the horizon.
Make no mistake that all available evidence suggests the federal government is preparing to turn the clock back on cannabis policy. Please share this extremely important information, as the fate of legal cannabis in the United States likely hangs in the balance.
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Contributed by Jay Syrmopoulos of thefreethoughtproject.com.
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