The stern message came in a commentary Ventura wrote for CNBC.com, where he takes the president to task for even considering trampling state laws.
“It is completely wrong and unethical ― not to mention unconstitutional ― to reverse state law just because you feel like it,” Ventura writes. “Shame on President Trump for even considering this.”
Pot remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, eight states and Washington, D.C., have approved recreational use of marijuana. Medical use is legal in 28 states and the nation’s capital.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump said marijuana laws should be left up to the states. Many people, however, fear his opinions might be changing, thanks to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said in April that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Ventura says going after marijuana smokers in states where it is legal stands against Trump’s campaign as “a man of the people.”
“[Trump ran as] someone who vowed to end the corporate takeover of our government; someone who vowed to bring jobs back. Reversing state law and making legalized recreational marijuana illegal is going against the people’s will.
“This is going against job creation and a reliable part of a state’s economy. The citizens of these states voted to make recreational marijuana legal. It wasn’t the politicians, it was We The People.
“The latest Gallup Poll shows 60 percent of Americans want legal marijuana!”
“Obviously President Trump is following in the footsteps of every president that came before him: He thinks the government knows what is best for us. He’s been president for a little over a month, and he’s already forgotten that ‘We the People’ are the government!”
Sessions has argued that legal marijuana leads to increased violence (a dubious claim with very little statistical backing.) Ventura offers to set Trump straight with a copy of his 2016 book, Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto.
The book lists studies showing that pot “is used in rehab settings to successfully curb alcohol, cocaine, meth, heroin and opioid addiction,” Ventura says.
Ventura backed Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson in last year’s presidential election. The former wrestler’s rise to become governor in the late 1990s has been compared with Trump’s improbable victory. Ventura left office after one term, with the state budget a wreck and his administration regarded as a failure.