In 2016, Donald Trump wasn’t yet president. He was however, doing his best to win the seat he’s since taken over. As one of the hottest topics to hit the presidential campaign in decades, Trump sat down with The Gazette, Colorado Springs’ local news source to talk about legal marijuana.
Wayne Laugesen is an editorial page editor for the Gazette. When he met with Trump in July 2016, he asked him directly if elected as president he would enforce federal marijuana laws. Trump’s response?
“Officially, I’m in favor of medical marijuana. For legalization, I have been in favor of states’ rights. In other words, let the states work it out.”
Trump went on to voice his opinion about legal marijuana in Colorado. “I have always been a person that says, ‘Let’s see what happens in Colorado.’ Because you’re doing a great test to see what happens, and I like the idea of a state making that decision.”
According to Laugesen, “We wanted to know Trump’s views on legalized recreational pot, so we discussed it with him for ten minutes. We demanded to know if he might enforce federal laws in states that have legalized, and received nuanced discussion about states’ rights and his concern the legalization movement might reveal damage to children.”
Trump responded, “I believe if the people vote for it, that’s the way it should go. Colorado is an example of that. It’s states’ rights.”
The recent decision made by Jeff Sessions to rescind the Cole Memo however, “has trampled the will of the voters” in Colorado, according to Colorado US Senator Cory Gardner.
“In 2016,” Gardner said, “President Trump said marijuana legalization should be left up to the states, and I agree.”
There are several people that believe Trump’s support of Jeff Sessions’ decision contradicts what he stated when meeting with the Gazette in 2016. You can read the entire story in the Gazette here, as well as listen to the newly released audio of the newspaper’s meeting with President Trump.