United States: Cannabis Activists Join Social Media Blackout on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, 2017

Social Media Blackout

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News

Cannabis activists are joining a nationwide protest on social media during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President by posting only black graphics. Activists are also encouraged to contact their Senators to reject President-elect Trump's cabinet nominations for their anti-cannabis stance.

The wealthiest in U.S. history, President-elect Trump’s cabinet is to include people who have been publicly hostile to the very agencies to which they are expected to provide oversight, revealing an historic plutocracy in the making.

"My concern is that Trump will move cannabis to schedule II, marketing it as "compassionately legalizing medical marijuana" while actually handing cannabis over the the pharmaceutical industry. Nothing about the Trump administration is predictable," stated Vivian McPeak, organizer of the Social Media Blackout.

Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the Trump Administration's pick for Attorney General, believes, “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and cannabis is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.” If confirmed by the US Senate, Sen. Sessions and the Trump Administration will possess the power to roll back decades of hard-fought gains.

McPeak told Hemp News, "Jeff Sessions is an arch enemy of cannabis reform. If he gets the position it will cast a dark pall over the potential future of the cannabis industry. But this all feels like some job security for pot reform activists, as unwanted as it may be."

Georgia Congressmen Tom Price, Trump's choice for Department of Human and Health Services, has a long history of opposing and voting against several cannabis proposals. According to the Washington Post, Price has voted six times against amendments preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state medical cannabis laws. Price has voted three times against a measure that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to U.S. Veterans.

“Price has a long voting record of opposing the [modest] marijuana policy reforms that have come to a vote in the House of Representatives,” said John Hudak of the Brookings Institution in an email. “Price is a physician and the medical community broadly has been conservative about the use of medical marijuana and nearly universally opposes it for recreational use.”

Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's choice for Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been a staunch advocate for the war on drugs. Carson openly opposes recreational cannabis laws. Spreading prohibitionist propaganda, Carson told FOX News’ Greta Van Susteren that “Marijuana is what’s known as a gateway drug. It tends to be a starter drug for people who move on to heavier duty drugs, sometimes legal, sometimes illegal. I don’t think that this is something that we really want for our society. We’re gradually just removing all the barriers leading to hedonistic activity.”

According to a 2015 interview with Glenn Beck, Carson won’t just continue to wage the perennially failing War on Drugs, he intends to intensify the failed policy. When Beck asked Carson if he would continue the War on Drugs, Carson stated, "Absolutely. I [would] intensify it."

Symbolic gestures of protest have an impact, send a message, reveal numbers, and create solidarity. Together, Americans can make a statement that the truth is sacred and that our American democracy is in jeopardy. If enough people participate in the Social Media Blackout we can make a visual impact because as Americans we also have the right NOT to remain silent.

For more information: Social Media Blackout.