All 12 official Democratic candidates, as well as the potential Republican hopeful and former Massachusetts governor William F. Weld, told the Globe they now support full nationwide legalization, Canada-style.
President Trump, meanwhile, has said he supports states’ rights to legalize.
The idea seems really popular all around.
So if you're President Trump, what do you do right now? If you're smart (and I don't think he's as dumb as some people think he is), you take the issue away from those other candidates. You dispose of it just as the campaign season starts warming up.
Instead of them talking about how they would fix it for the next 20 months, it could be Trump talking about how he has fixed it for the next 20 months.
There are a couple of ways he could go about it.
One would be to go to Republicans in Congress and tell them to get up a clean legalization bill. That is, a bill that "de-schedules" marijuana at DEA and repeals all federal regulations that are specific to marijuana (presumably existing "general" regulations would automatically apply to it just like they apply to Prozac and tomatoes depending on whether it's being prescribed as medicine or sold as a houseplant -- unfortunate, but probably unavoidable if the bill is to pass).
The advantage to going that way would be that it would put all those Democratic candidates who claim to be for legalization, and are currently in the US House or Senate, on the spot. Either they support the bill and that's that (the issue falls out of their campaigning arsenal), or they oppose the bill and have to stop quacking about how they support legalization.
Another way would be for the FDA and DEA to report, respectively, to the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General of the United States, in response to their "requests" for such reports, that the latest medical and scientific information don't support keeping marijuana in "Schedule I" status, and for the Attorney General to de-schedule (or at least re-schedule) it.
IMO, the second way would take longer:
Republicans in the US House and Senate will be able to see the political advantages of getting this done, and Democrats will know that voting against it amounts to pissing away potential votes in 2020. This is something that can get done in March unless Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer want to torpedo their own party's candidates with obstructionist BS.
FDA and DEA bureaucrats, on the other hand, could drag their feet for months. They'd look like douche nozzles doing so, too but they don't face the voters -- and since when have Scott Gottlieb or Uttam Dhillon ever given two runny shits what we mere mundanes think about them?
President Trump should schedule a meeting with Rand Paul and Justin Amash to hammer out a quick bill, then up call Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy to let them know that he expects every swinging Republican dick in both houses to co-sponsor it if they want any RNC support in their next re-election bids.
I think there's a better than even chance something like this happens in the next 90-180 days.