President Trump’s pick for his interim Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, has been a long-time supporter of marijuana reform.
Mulvaney, who is now the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, repeatedly supported measures that sought to relax policies on marijuana when he was a House Representative, including a bill that sought to limit the power wielded by the Department of Justice over the space. As Trump’s Chief of Staff, at least for the time being, should prove to be beneficial for future marijuana policies on Capitol Hill.
Mulvaney, in each year from 2014-2016, supported measures that would have allowed military veterans to be prescribed marijuana by physicians at Veterans Administration hospitals. He also backed an amendment in 2014 that sought to prevent the Treasury Department from going after banks that chose to work with marijuana businesses. Additionally, he has been a proponent of legislation that sought to protect cannabidiol (CBD), as well as industrial hemp.
According to Don Murphy of the Marijuana Policy Project, “Mulvaney’s history of opposing wasteful government spending and support for states’ rights, specifically when it comes to marijuana, makes him our strongest ally in the White House.” He added that, as the director of the OMB, Mulvaney has been instrumental in cutting funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and that he “delivers our ‘more liberty/less spending’ position directly into the Oval Office on a daily basis, where it could bring the federal war on marijuana to an end by 2020.”
While he may not be able to directly force policy decisions, his position close to the president will certainly go a long way toward helping influence opinions. 2019 continues to shape itself up to be the year for marijuana policy reform across the board in the U.S.