Among many other revelations, a secretly recorded conversation between Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and President Donald Trump revealed some of the president’s thoughts on cannabis—behind closed doors. The 45-minute bombshell recording was released on Jan. 25 and captured a conversation between Parnas and the president during an April 2018 dinner.
The video stirred up and revived political battles between supporters of the president and his opponents. It is the same video that allegedly depicts the president saying “get rid of” the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanich.
Forbes was one of the first media outlets to report on the part of the conversation surrounding cannabis found in the recording. “In Colorado, they have more accidents,” the president said. “It does cause an IQ problem.”
Parnas pointed out how the lack of banking access creates a dangerous problem for cannabis businesses in America. “Cannabis, look, you’re talking about marijuana, right?” the president replied. “You can’t do banking there?”
“That’s the biggest problem, because none of the banks accept the money,” Parnas explained.
President Trump then said that the problems with the industry are “all working out. That whole thing is working out.”
President Trump has usually taken the side that supports individual states’ right to legalize cannabis without interference from the federal government. Nearly two years ago, President Trump said he will “probably” support The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act, or STATES Act. In addition, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill which opened up the door to hemp farming across the country.
On the recording, Trump can be heard asking for advice on how to deal with cannabis, with a handful of replies. Donald Trump Jr., for instance, could be heard telling his father that “alcohol does much more damage” than cannabis. “You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana. It’s just different.” Parnas can also be heard telling the president that it’s better to be ahead of the cannabis movement rather than fight against it because the movement has gained too much momentum at this point.
Watch the 45-minute PBS News Hour clip of the video below: