More than a few cannabis activists and ganjapreneurs voted for Donald Trump. For Donald Trump—not simply “against Hillary Clinton.” If you wanted to vote against Clinton, there were other options.
But if you cast a vote for Trump, that means one of two things: Either you’re cool with racism, or you don’t consider racism to be a deal breaker when it comes to running the country. Add the fact that cannabis prohibitionist Jeff Sessions (who was turned down for a federal judgeship back in 1986 because it was alleged he held racist views) has been nominated for Attorney General, and— congratulations!—your Trump vote has helped create an administration with the potential to undo decades of progress on many important issues, including marijuana prohibition and civil rights.
Trump ran a campaign based on racism and fear. It doesn’t matter that you personally aren’t racist; to vote for a clearly racist candidate shows that you’re cool with racism. In mostly polite and civil discussions, I was surprised at how many “friends” whom I considered to be clear-headed voted in a man who gives hope to people who advocate racism.
While I’m still shocked, and will have a hard time relating to these people in the same ways that I did before the election, I learned that there are more than a few straight-up racists in the cannabis industry. This needs to change.
Despite Trump’s victory, it may work out for the cannabis industry. There’s already so much cash in the new “legit” game that it may be too late for the federal government to shut everyone down. Cannabis legalization is very popular across the country. States are raking in tax money and creating jobs. Who knows—maybe Trump will try to get into the market and license his name to a few cannabis brands.
Never forget that cannabis legalization has always been a social justice and civil liberties issue. Old-school hippies and libertarian freedom fighters worked for years just to get the legalization conversation started. How many campaigns have highlighted the fact that legalizing cannabis is a way to alleviate police harassment of minorities?
Legalization is about more than market share. It’s about freedom and equality. Trump’s election sends a clear signal that activism is still needed. See you at the protests.
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