During recently released audio from a 2018 dinner party attended by President Donald Trump and some of his close associates, the president suggests that cannabis use causes people to “lose IQ points;” the discussion was first reported by Marijuana Moment’s Tom Angell for Forbes.
The audio comes from a recording made secretly by Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Guiliani who recently publicly confirmed that the president knew about the administration’s efforts to coerce Ukraine into investigating his political rival. The Ukraine scandal ultimately led to the president’s impeachment last December — the resulting Senate trial is ongoing.
During the dinner, Parnas prompted the discussion by asking the president if he had considered alleviating the cannabis industry’s unfortunate banking situation. Parnas called cannabis a “tremendous movement” that is popular among young voters and suggested that Trump should get “ahead of it” by giving the industry banking access.
“Cannabis, look, you’re talking about marijuana, right? … It’s all working out, that whole thing is working out. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. … It does cause an IQ problem.” — President Donald Trump, during a 2018 dinner party
Donald Trump Jr. is also heard in the recording saying that alcohol “does much more damage” than cannabis — “You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana, it’s just different,” he said.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse website, cannabis “can cause functional impairment in cognitive abilities” but an individual’s cannabis use does not appear to affect IQ.
During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Trump said he supported cannabis as a states’ rights issue and that he believed statewide legalization experiments — including both medical and recreational markets — should be left alone by the federal government.
In April 2018, the president struck a deal with Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) saying he would support a federalism-based cannabis bill that blocked all federal intervention with state-legal markets.
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