mises.org / Ryan McMaken / Feb 25, 2017
In the days following the 2016 election, there were already worrying signs that the Trump administration didn’t merely view the War on Drugs as a useful source of rhetoric to please some Conservatives. With the appointment of Jeff Sessions — who appears to be a true believer in the War on Drugs — the threat to federalism, states’s rights, and local control was all too real.
The fears continue to be stoked by the administration itself, and yesterday White House spokesman Sean Spicer announcing that “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of [federal law against marijuana].”
So, in an administration where Trump’s promised health care reforms are anything but a done deal — and which is plagued with leaks and conflict with the US intelligence establishment — Spicer suggests the administration has enough extra time to ramp up prosecutions of American citizens for smoking a joint. The fact that 81 percent of all drug arrests are for simple possession means that yes, increasing federal enforcement is about arresting and prosecuting small-time users.
Spicer justifies this with the well-worn claim often made by Conservatives that “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by … when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
At the core of this statement is the same hypocrisy that infects the entire right wing on the Drug War issue.