BuzzFeed News has obtained information about the so-called Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, comprised of White House memos and emails instructing 14 federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this month to submit “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana and the “threats” it poses to the country.
The committee, oddly, complained in one memo that the narrative around cannabis is unfairly biased in favor of it.
In true Trump style, rather than seek objective information, the committee’s records show it is asking officials only to portray marijuana in a negative light, regardless of what the data show.
A follow-up memo called on the various anti-pot departments to “provide … the most significant data demonstrating negative trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends.
“Staff believe that if the administration is to turn the tide on increasing marijuana use there is an urgent need to message the facts about the negative impacts of marijuana use, production, and trafficking on national health, safety, and security,” says the meeting summary.
The committee’s hardline agenda suggests a far-reaching effort to reverse public attitudes and scrutinize legal marijuana states. Its reports are to be used in a briefing for Trump “on marijuana threats.”
The White House declined to discuss the committee's process, but indicated it was part of an effort to remain consistent with the president's agenda.
“The Trump Administration’s policy coordination process is an internal, deliberative process to craft the President’s policies on a number of important issues facing the American people, and ensure consistency with the President’s agenda," Lindsay Walters, Deputy White House Press Secretary, told BuzzFeed News.
Coordinated by White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the committee met on July 27 with many of the largest agencies in the federal government, including the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and State.
None of the 14 agencies contacted by BuzzFeed, including the DEA and White House, denied the existence of this Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee.