Marijuana advocates are cautiously optimistic about what Donald Trump’s presidency will mean for state autonomy and national reform.
Ballots legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes passed by large margins in states across the country Tuesday, but the federal government still does not recognize its legality in these states. Advocates heavily petitioned both candidates throughout the campaign to be respectful of state laws that have broken with the federal government.
Donald Trump promised during the campaign to defer to the states on issues like this, giving activists hope the president-elect could be an ally in pushing reforms.
“President-Elect Trump has clearly and repeatedly pledged to respect state marijuana laws, and we fully expect him to follow through on those promises,” Tom Angell, of the Marijuana Majority, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Reversing course and going against the tide of history would present huge political problems that the new administration does not need.”
Medical marijuana legalization passed in Florida with 71 percent support and also secured passage in Arkansas and North Dakota. Voters in California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine all approved measures with wide support to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The initiative in Arizona is the only recreational marijuana ballot that failed to pass Tuesday.
Marijuana advocates are circling a petition addressed to Trump, ensuring that he keeps his campaign promise to respect state autonomy on the issue.
“As marijuana law reform supporters, we are petitioning to encourage you to uphold these promises, including by filling your Cabinet with officials who will follow through on what you said on the campaign trail,” reads the petition. “This especially includes appointing Justice Department and DEA leaders who will respect state laws. A clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, and we’re counting on you to respect the people’s will and make good on your word.”
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