Weed Bars In Colorado Are Yet Another Good Thing Trump Has Ruined
For those who have physical issues with alcohol, be it low tolerance or allergies, marijuana can be a socialization savior. Speaking from personal experience (I have alcohol intolerance due to low levels of the enzymes that break down liquor), being able to get your buzz on without drinking can keep you healthier and happier. However, thanks to our new president, far fewer people will have that option when they go out. Colorado legislators are abandoning plans to regulate weed bars in order to avoid retribution from the Trump administration, but it may be in Donald Trump's best interest to support this plan.
According to The Wichita Eagle, a measure to approve the creation of Amsterdam-style weed bars and cafes initially had bipartisan support in the state legislature, but was discouraged by Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper. "Given the uncertainty in Washington, this is not the time to be ... trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana," Hickenlooper told The Denver Post in March.
That uncertainty stems largely from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose past harsh criticisms of marijuana stand at odds with his private assurances to senators that he won't be cracking down on state-legalized pot infrastructure. Technically, the federal government, and specifically the Department of Justice, could enforce the prohibition laws against the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana at any time, in any state. But as of right now, with the administration tied up in foreign conflicts, there hasn't been much of any kind of movement to define Trump's drug policy.
However, Trump's current foreign policy mess may be exactly why he should loosen up on weed regulations. The strictness of current federal policy on marijuana may be losing the country billions, which sure would be helpful in providing an economic safety net in case of war. According to MarketWatch, legal weed in Colorado was a $1.3 billion industry in 2016, and raked in over $200 million in tax revenue for the state. Bloomberg estimates that the industry could be worth $50 billion nationwide in just nine years.
Realistically, legalizing marijuana could be the easiest and most prosperous way for Trump to make a lasting legacy as president. His foreign policy is an untenable mess lately, and it doesn't seem like he's going to make his name on some grand military strategy. Plus, legal weed actually fits pretty well with Trump's overall approach to government, which is all about the numbers. His pro-business agenda could get a heavy boost from a publicly supportive attitude toward the growing national marijuana industry, allowing him to at least say he helped create jobs while in office.
Sure, legalization might alienate Trump's Republican base, but honestly, his chances of reelection were looking pretty slim considering his historically low approval ratings. Trying to grab a few supporters from the left on his way out is the best way to make sure the history books don't universally vilify him. Until then, marijuana use will still be confined to backyards and basements.