White House Drug Office Promises Objective Study Of Pot, Says Colorado Senator

A close-up photo of a marijuana plant taken at San Francisco 4/20 celebration.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

BuzzFeed reported in August that the White House planned to paint a bad image of marijuana legalization in a nationwide study. But Colorado Democratic Senator Michael Bennet assured the public on Monday that the White House’s drug office says the study will be unbiased, says ABC News. The senator says that he spoke with James Carroll, deputy director of the Executive Office of the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Carroll reportedly told Bennet that the study would be solely based on scientific evidence, which disagrees with the lofty claims made last month, says ABC News. Citing “internal documents,” BuzzFeed claimed that the White House asked the Drug Enforcement Agency as well as 14 other federal agencies to “submit ‘data demonstrating the most significant negative trends’ about marijuana and the ‘threats’ it poses to the country.”

The request also ironically claimed that the drug is unfairly biased by the media. This all happened after President Trump said he was in support of a bipartisan Congress that would allow state marijuana legalization to grow. Bennet stated to the public Monday that the country should follow Colorado’s example in unbiased studying of marijuana.

“In Colorado, we’ve made a deliberate effort to ensure fact-based data informs our marijuana policies. Government-sponsored propaganda shouldn’t undermine that effort,” Bennet said.

Now, after Bennet’s comments, BuzzFeed says it has acquired a letter from James Carroll in response to Senator Bennet, and shares a few more details on the conversation.

“I assure you that ONDCP seeks all perspectives, positive or negative, when formulating Administration policy. You have my full and firm commitment that ONDCP will be completely objective and dispassionate in collecting all relevant facts and peer-reviewed scientific research on all drugs, including marijuana,” Carroll reportedly said in the September 21 letter.

Carroll also seemed to tell Bennet that while the committee is not considered secret, it was never announced to the public either. According to the letter, Carroll said that the marijuana policy coordinating committee is one of many policy coordinating committees that are present in all forms of administration. He also said that the Office of National Drug Control Policy works with government agencies on an ongoing basis to “help assess the impact of rapidly changing drug markets.”

President Trump commented to reporters on Friday that he would likely support legislation that seeks to legalize marijuana federally, said HealthCureUSA. He said he supports Senator Cory Gardner, one of the lead sponsors of the bill.

“I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” said Trump.