Jan 29, 2019 12:25 PM

Could Democrats Use Trump Shutdown Strategy To Decriminalize Marijuana?

Republicans should know that President Trump’s government shutdown tactics to secure a wall along the U.S. Mexico border could come back to bite them in the rear in the near future. Because if holding American hostage is the new way to get things done in this country, one Congressman says the Democrats could employ the same scheme to accomplish a variety of wish list tasks, like pushing marijuana reform.

Last week, U.S Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut urged Republicans not to let this shutdown business spin too far out of control, as it is creating a paradigm that stands to weaken democracy.

“I would remind my Republican colleagues that there will be a Democratic president someday, and they are setting this precedent,” Himes said, alluding that it might be their turn next.

“Maybe we’ll decide not to pay the military until we can get truly universal health coverage,” he continued. “Maybe we’ll decide not to man the borders, or to decriminalize marijuana, because that’s what we want, and we won’t pay people until we get what we want. It’s a terrible precedent, and my Republican friends know that.”

Although the government shutdown—the longest in American history—is over for now, President Trump is not likely to give in on his agenda. His acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, said on Sunday that Trump will do “whatever it takes to secure the border,” which could definitely include another government shutdown. A deal reached on Friday by House and Senate negotiators gives the country three weeks to sort it out or else the president will likely flex once again.

“Does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL? Done more in first two years than any President! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!,” Trump tweeted on Sunday night.

If another shutdown happens, however, the powers that be in the District of Columbia could use this time to legalize retail pot sales. When the city passed a measure in 2014 intended to legalize marijuana, it did not come with a provision for a taxed and regulated market. Congressional riders have since prevented the city from spending tax dollars to move forward with an expansion. But the shutdown creates a lapse in the rider that technically gives DC the power to take a shot at this reform. It’s something that Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser hasn’t “ruled out.”

Some believe the shutdown will be resolved in the coming weeks—it has even been suggested Trump has made concessions – while others are of the opinion more drama is coming in the interest of a wall along the southern border. Will this have any impact on marijuana reform now or in the future? Probably not.

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