During his "town hall" with MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday, Donald Trump said "I'm getting some very negative reports" about the consequences of marijuana legalization in Colorado. He did not get more specific than that, except to suggest that "there's a lasting negative impact" if "you do too much of it."
Trump said something similar at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, claiming that legalization has led to "some big problems" in Colorado. But he also said states should be free to legalize marijuana: "If they vote for it, they vote for it." Trump reiterated his support for marijuana federalism while campaigning in Nevada last October. "In terms of marijuana and legalization," he said, "I think that should be a state issue, state by state."
The dumbest comments about marijuana legalization on Wednesday actually came not from Trump but from Matthews:
What are the problems you've heard about Colorado? Because a lot of people wonder about who do you want smoking dope. I mean, do you want your train conductor, the bus driver, the airplane pilot? No. What do you want? Maybe the guy who teaches philosophy might be OK.
I mean—I mean does anybody trust anybody that's high to do anything? I mean, I'm serious about this….
Recreational drugs. What's that mean?
Matthews mentioned stoned train conductors, bus drivers, and airplane pilots but somehow left out stoned brain surgeons, another favorite prohibitionist trope. Like most drug warriors, he seems to think that if the government stops putting people in jail for growing, selling, and using marijuana, everyone will be high all the time. That expectation was clearly absurd even before any jurisdiction legalized marijuana (is everyone drunk all the time because alcohol prohibition was repealed?), and it's demonstrably false now. So contrary to what Matthews says, he is not at all serious about this.
Maybe this is one of the "very negative reports" Trump had in mind.