A top Trump ally has responded to a White House official’s opposition on marijuana legalization with this year’s biggest meme.
In an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was asked regarding his stand on the recent Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) and his support as a Republican to the largely Democratic act. When asked if this signaled additional support from the President, fellow Republicans and his opinion towards White House counsel Kellyanne Conway’s statements about “the TCH components are much stronger…” and “…we just can’t say it’s all good for all people at this moment” on the use of legal marijuana as an alternative to opioid addiction, Gaetz had this:
“I have worked to be a positive influence with the President on marijuana reform. To my friend, Kellyanne Conway, I would say, “OK, boomer,'”
Gaetz also corrected Conway for using “TCH” instead of “THC” (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Federal Policy as a Wet Blanket
“I mean that’s a very boomer approach to marijuana”, Gaetz continued, ““Her reflection shows a real ignorance to the science demonstrating that in states where there are marijuana programs you see a reduction in Schedule I drug recommendations,”
“You also see a reduction in the types of overdoses that are crippling our country and hollowing out America. If we have a lower acuity anti-pain alternative to heroin and opioids, I think that you’ll see the country do a lot better.”
Gaetz also brings up the argument that “federal prohibition against marijuana has not worked” and that it has “impaired research and stopped our states from being able to unlock cures. Federal policy functions as a wet blanket over the innovation and investment that could allow marijuana to improve people’s lives around the country.”
This stance of prohibition not being effective does seem to echo a similar sentiment President Donald Trump made during a meeting last week on enacting restrictive moves on flavored vaping products.
“You just have to look at the history of it,” said the president. “Now, instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they’re going to be having a flavor that’s poison. That’s a big problem”
“When you watch prohibition, when you look at the alcohol, you look at cigarettes, you look at it all, if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally – that’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget.”
“How do you solve the fact that it’s going to be shipped in from Mexico? That’s a problem and you have the same problem with drugs and everything else”, quipped the president.
Gaetz has stated that while he does support to advance the MORE Act and is working to be a positive influence to the president on marijuana reform, there are “commitments about medical marijuana in his 2016 campaign that we still need to fulfill.”
Trump’s official stance is overall supportive of medical marijuana and the he felt strongly that legalizing recreational use was “bad”, although he maintains that states should be allowed to set their own policies on it.
Conway responded later in the day that she identified as a “GenXer” and that “Those of us working and (not) talking about this are looking for a balance.”
The “OK boomer” meme has been in use since 2015 to describe perceived narrow-minded and outdated views of older generations, particularly baby boomers. It received widespread coverage in November 2019 when New Zealand MP Chloe Swarbrick used it to shut down an interjection from an older member of parliament during a climate change bill discussion.
The MORE bill is indeed shaping up to be this year’s biggest mover for legal marijuana. Stay up-to-date with developments by registering and subscribing to our newsletter!