The newest issue arising from the secretly recorded Trump conversation: Pot

In addition to the unsurprising realization that Trump wanted to fire turncoat Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (unsurprising because he eventually fired her), there's something else for Trump-haters in Lev Parnas's alleged recordings of a meal at which both he and Trump were present: Trump doesn't think much of marijuana.

To give Trump's comments some context, it's important to understand that Trump neither drinks nor smokes.  When he declared his administration's efforts to crack down on opioid abuse, Trump explained the personal reasons behind his decision:

"They will see the devastation and the ruination it causes to people and people's lives," Trump said. "Watch what happens, if we do our jobs, how the number of drug users and the addicted will start to tumble downward over a period of years. It will be a beautiful thing to see."

The president said he learned that from his brother, who died an alcoholic in 1981 at age 43. Trump described his brother as a "great guy," the "best-looking guy" with the "best personality — much better than mine."

"But he had a problem," the president said. "He had a problem with alcohol."

Trump said Fred would frequently tell him "don't drink" and "don't smoke." He said he listened because he respected his brother.

"And to this day I've never had a drink, and I have no longing for it. I have no interest in it," Trump said. "To this day, I've never had a cigarette."

To Trump, substance abuse is a serious issue because it destroys people's minds and personalities.  He suspects that pot is also bad for people:

"In Colorado they have more accidents," the president said in the clip captured by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal that led to the president's impeachment. "It does cause an IQ problem."

While the nation's pot-smoking bloc is undoubtedly going to be disappointed that the president says pot makes people stupid, the reality is that the data are inclusive, with early studies saying pot lowers I.Q. and later studies denying this.  There is certainly evidence, though, that pot impairs neurological abilities:

Certain specific neuropsychological parameters have been found to be affected. Most commonly and consistently reported are response time, prolongation of word viewing time, basic oculomotor deficit, residual verbal memory and executive functioning. The pathways to cognitive dysfunction are given particular focus, including the role of the central nervous system (CNS) cannabinoid system. Finally, the psychiatric effects of cannabis are considered in light of the idea that cognitive function may be the common denominator in the association between cannabis and psychotic disorders.

The great thing about Trump, a man who does not believe in Big Government, is that, while he has his opinions, that's just what they are — opinions, not policy.  When it comes to legalizing marijuana at a federal level, Trump is adopting a wait-and-see mode, watching legalization play out in various states that are acting, as the Founders intended, as the "laboratories of democracy."

In addition to the unsurprising realization that Trump wanted to fire turncoat Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch (unsurprising because he eventually fired her), there's something else for Trump-haters in Lev Parnas's alleged recordings of a meal at which both he and Trump were present: Trump doesn't think much of marijuana.

To give Trump's comments some context, it's important to understand that Trump neither drinks nor smokes.  When he declared his administration's efforts to crack down on opioid abuse, Trump explained the personal reasons behind his decision:

"They will see the devastation and the ruination it causes to people and people's lives," Trump said. "Watch what happens, if we do our jobs, how the number of drug users and the addicted will start to tumble downward over a period of years. It will be a beautiful thing to see."

The president said he learned that from his brother, who died an alcoholic in 1981 at age 43. Trump described his brother as a "great guy," the "best-looking guy" with the "best personality — much better than mine."

"But he had a problem," the president said. "He had a problem with alcohol."

Trump said Fred would frequently tell him "don't drink" and "don't smoke." He said he listened because he respected his brother.

"And to this day I've never had a drink, and I have no longing for it. I have no interest in it," Trump said. "To this day, I've never had a cigarette."

To Trump, substance abuse is a serious issue because it destroys people's minds and personalities.  He suspects that pot is also bad for people:

"In Colorado they have more accidents," the president said in the clip captured by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump attorney Rudolph Giuliani, who is at the center of the Ukraine scandal that led to the president's impeachment. "It does cause an IQ problem."

While the nation's pot-smoking bloc is undoubtedly going to be disappointed that the president says pot makes people stupid, the reality is that the data are inclusive, with early studies saying pot lowers I.Q. and later studies denying this.  There is certainly evidence, though, that pot impairs neurological abilities:

Certain specific neuropsychological parameters have been found to be affected. Most commonly and consistently reported are response time, prolongation of word viewing time, basic oculomotor deficit, residual verbal memory and executive functioning. The pathways to cognitive dysfunction are given particular focus, including the role of the central nervous system (CNS) cannabinoid system. Finally, the psychiatric effects of cannabis are considered in light of the idea that cognitive function may be the common denominator in the association between cannabis and psychotic disorders.

The great thing about Trump, a man who does not believe in Big Government, is that, while he has his opinions, that's just what they are — opinions, not policy.  When it comes to legalizing marijuana at a federal level, Trump is adopting a wait-and-see mode, watching legalization play out in various states that are acting, as the Founders intended, as the "laboratories of democracy."