For a number of reasons, it’s entirely possible President Donald Trump will be impeached in the near future. Here’s why this would be bad for marijuana consumers.
With a special counsel investigation that has already led to numerous Trump associates receiving felony charges, as well as other ongoing issues (Stormy Daniels anyone?), President Trump being impeached isn’t a far-fetched thought. Although it would never happen under the current Congress, November’s election could quite possibly lead to the Democrats controlling both the Senate and House of Representatives. If this happens, impeachment could happen soon – very soon.
Although initially marijuana consumers and advocates may see this as a good thing – after all, Trump did hire Jeff Sessions as his attorney general. However, it’s really not, and could turn out to be the worse thing to happen to marijuana since President Bush declared war on medical cannabis dispensaries (something President Obama unfortunately continued, and even expanded upon, at least in his early years). This is because of one person; Mike Pence.
If Trump is impeached by the end of 2019 (it might not happen, but it’s certainly possible), Mike Pence will have, at the very least, a full year as president even if he was to lose the 2020 election (assuming he would run for reelection). If Trump were to be impeached shortly after this upcoming election, Pence could have two full years.
The reason this is bad are clear; Pence is a staunch opponent of marijuana and any effort to change the laws away from full-blown prohibition. Whereas Trump hasn’t necessarily been a good thing for marijuana laws, he actually hasn’t been bad. In fact, as most people know by now Trump recently agreed to respect states’ rights in regards to marijuana laws, and even said he would support efforts to change federal law. Pence could never accept such an agreement, and would almost surely give Sessions (or whoever his AG may be if Sessions resigns or is fired) full permission to attack marijuana businesses and maybe even consumers (something Trump hasn’t done).
At the same time, however, Pence attacking marijuana would all but assure his defeat in the 2020 elections, especially with many Democrats making legalization (or at least decriminalization) one of their campaign platforms. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 63% of voters in the United States support fully legalizing marijuana. A shocking 93% support legalizing medical marijuana.
So.. even if Pence because president via Trump’s impeachment, and attacks states that have legalized marijuana, voters would have a clear choice to stop him in the 2020 election. Still, given there’s a lot of damage that can be done in a year or two, marijuana advocates should be well aware that a removal of Trump isn’t necessarily a victory. A removal of Trump, and then Pence, however, likely would be.