We have already looked in alarm over Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General. Now comes the next head of Health & Human Services, Georgia’s Tom Price. The pain keeps coming.
President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday named Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as his pick for Health and Human Services secretary, a position that could offer the anti-marijuana legislator more control over medical access to the drug.
Although federal regulation of illicit drugs rests primarily with the Justice Department, the HHS secretary holds some powers that could restrict how available marijuana is in states that have legalized it for recreational or medicinal use. For instance, drug policy observers say that the agency could penalize doctors or sue sellers who work with medical marijuana in those states, since the substance remains illegal under federal law.
Price is one of the most consistently anti-marijuana members of Congress, voting against a number of marijuana proposals before the House in recent years.
“Price has a long voting record of opposing the [modest] marijuana policy reforms that have come to a vote in the House of Representatives,” said John Hudak of the Brookings Institution in an email. “Price is a physician and the medical community broadly has been conservative about the use of medical marijuana and nearly universally opposes it for recreational use.”
. . .
While not particularly vocal on the subject of marijuana law, Price’s votes have earned him a “D” grade on marijuana policy from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and Drug Policy Action, two drug policy reform groups.
HHS chiefs have not been major presences in marijuana policy discussions during the Obama administration. But Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, still called the pick a “terrible development,” given other signs the Trump administration could take a harder line on to legal marijuana.
There’s more to this at the complete, original post HERE.
[image: Washington Post]
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