- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2020

Marijuana needs to remain illegal at the federal level, a top member of President Trump’s reeelection campaign said Wednesday.

Marc Lotter, the director of strategic communications for the Trump 2020 campaign, made the comment during a television interview conducted by Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV.

“I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level. I know many states have taken a different path,” said Mr. Lotter.

“I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — of a parent of a young person — to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,” Mr. Lotter added. “They need to be kept illegal. That is the federal policy.”

Marijuana is federally prohibited on account of its status as a Schedule 1 substance, although most states have passed laws legalizing its usage for medicinal or recreational purposes.

Mr. Trump said during his 2016 campaign that states should be permitted to legalize marijuana in spite of longstanding federal prohibition, and several have since followed through.

His eventual opponent in the 2020 race is likely to favor either legalizing or decriminalize marijuana at the federal level if elected president, however.

Nearly all of the top-tier candidates currently seeking the Democratic presidential nomination to run against Mr. Trump favor ending federal marijuana prohibition, with only two — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — saying pot should be decriminalized nationally but not necessarily legalized fully.

Thirty-three states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, and 11 of those have made it legal for adults to use pot for recreational purposes. Of those 11, nine have laws in place allow adults to purchase marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries, including Nevada, where legal sales last fiscal year earned the state roughly $100 million in related tax revenue.

Forbes first reported on Mr. Lotter’s remarks Wednesday.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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