Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump, is starting a pro-marijuana group and wants the administration to “cut the shit” over legal weed.
The Republican strategist announced the bipartisan coalition Friday at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York. The United States Cannabis Coalition (USCC) aims to hold Trump to his campaign pledge to respect states that have legalization laws for medical and recreational marijuana.
Stone says that the lobby will include people of all political stripes who agree on the value of legal pot, reports Business Insider.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is reportedly joining the USCC, which also aims to get marijuana rescheduled to allow doctors to legally prescribe cannabis. Removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I drugs alongside deadly narcotics like heroin will also eliminate onerous roadblocks to scientific research.
“I am going to be working with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats, progressives and libertarians, liberals, and conservatives to persuade the president to keep his campaign pledge and to remind the president that he took a strong and forthright position on this issue in the election,” Stone said Friday, according to Business Insider. “In all honesty it’s time for [Trump] to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cut the shit.”
A letter from Sessions to Congress leaked Tuesday showing that he petitioned lawmakers to scale back legal protections for medical marijuana.
In the letter sent to Congress in May, Sessions asks that they dismantle the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which passed in 2014 and prevents the DOJ from using federal funds to prosecute individuals in states with medical legalization.
Sessions argues that these protections undermine the DOJ’s ability to combat the illegal drug trade. The letter is reviving fears that the Trump administration will crack down on state laws concerning marijuana legalization.
A group of bipartisan senators introduced a comprehensive marijuana package Thursday in an effort to protect state medical legalization laws from a potential federal crackdown. The bill gives the Department of Veteran Affairs the freedom to recommend medical marijuana to patients and removes cannabidiol (CBD), used to treat chronic pain and severe epilepsy, from the Controlled Substances Act.
The legislation will also ease restrictions on the research community attempting to study the medical applications of marijuana.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and Washington, D.C., where it is also legal for recreational use. Nearly 20 percent of Americans now have access to legal pot.