The White House has secretly amassed a committee of federal agencies from across the government to combat public support for marijuana and cast state legalization measures in a negative light, while attempting to portray the drug as a national threat, according to interviews with agency staff and documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, as it’s named in White House memos and emails, instructed 14 federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration this month to submit “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana and the “threats” it poses to the country.
In an ironic twist, the committee complained in one memo that the narrative around marijuana is unfairly biased in favor of the drug. But rather than seek objective information, the committee’s records show it is only asking officials to portray marijuana in a negative light, regardless of what the data show.
“The prevailing marijuana narrative in the U.S. is partial, one-sided, and inaccurate,” says a summary of a July 27 meeting among the White House and nine departments. In a follow-up memo, which provided guidance for responses from federal agencies, White House officials told officials, “Departments should provide … the most significant data demonstrating negative trends, with a statement describing the implications of such trends.”