Jesse Ventura To Trump Administration: Leave Legal Pot Alone

By Victoria Kim 07/14/17

"Our faltering economy needs the American cannabis industry to continue to grow and succeed.”

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Jesse Ventura
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Jesse Ventura, the hulking former professional wrestler and military veteran-turned-governor of Minnesota, warned against the Trump administration’s efforts to backtrack on marijuana legalization, saying they could seriously harm the U.S. economy.

“When it comes to economics, let me put the state of marijuana to you in this way: If Trump reverses state law, he’ll be crippling if not bankrupting the states that have legalized marijuana,” Ventura writes in a new op-ed for CNBC.

“Not only will this action go against the will of the people who voted for legalized marijuana, this action will cause yet another economic collapse,” he warns. 

This past May, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a budget bill dedicating millions of dollars in tax revenue from its legal cannabis industry to social services, public education, and even the opioid crisis. Colorado was one of the first US states to legalize cannabis for recreational use in 2012. 

“The cannabis industry is all-American and comprised of American entrepreneurs, employees, and customers…and unlike all those infuriating stereotypes, this is an industry of educated and informed individuals,” says Ventura.

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have a medical marijuana system in place—eight of those states and the District of Columbia went a step further and passed laws legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

Attempts to downsize the cannabis industry would have major economic consequences, Ventura argues. “We’re talking about making a profitable, multibillion-dollar industry go away overnight.” The Trump administration is poised to roll back progress made in the American marijuana industry—especially with Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Department of Justice. 

With Canada planning to legalize marijuana nationally in 2018, Ventura says if the Trump administration continues on its current path, the U.S. will fall behind in the growing, lucrative industry.

“If federal law doesn’t change by the time Canada legalizes marijuana nationwide in 2018, just watch our neighbors to the north find a way to get their banking system on board for American cannabis businesses. And get ready for American cannabis businesses to go to Canada,” writes Ventura. The U.S. banking system is unfriendly to businesses that deal with cannabis, since cannabis is still technically illegal under federal law.

Ventura concludes: “The cannabis industry is about innovation as much as it is about fighting against oppression. That’s the American way…Our faltering economy needs the American cannabis industry to continue to grow and succeed.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr

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