Jesse Ventura on New Book, President Trump, and… by Uinterview

Jesse Ventura has about as varied a career as you could imagine. The former professional wrestler is also a former politician, serving as the Minnesota’s governor from 1998-2002. Ventura also served in the US Navy, acted in a handful of movies and TV shows, and has written several books. His newest book, Jesse Ventura‘s Marijuana Manifesto hit shelves late in 2016.

Ventura recently spoke with uInterview about his new book, the surprising history of marijuana, and Donald Trump.

Ventura has long been an advocate for legalizing marijuana. Marijuana Manifesto, although certainly a work of advocacy, also serves as a “textbook” and attempts, first and foremost, to educate the public on the history of marijuana and its prohibition.

“[Marijuana Manifesto] covers how the public has been mislead and how they’ve been lied to about this remarkable plant,” Ventura told uInterview exclusively. “In light of that, I view Marijuana Manifesto as a textbook, so we can educate the public and make them aware of all the untruths that they maybe harbor over being told things that are not true about cannabis.”

One of those facts Americans should be aware of, Ventura says, is that cannabis was the “backbone” of the U.S. economy for the first 150 years after its creation.

Despite this, says Ventura, “If George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive today, they’d be doing ten to twelve in a federal prison as major drug dealers.”

“I mean, the bottom line is, how could you go to jail for using a product that god made? And how can you go to jail for committing a crime against yourself?”

Ventura’s hope that the current presidential administration would eliminate the prohibition on marijuana isn’t sky high, but he also sees a bright side.

“Trump goes with the blow of the breeze. All we need to do is start calling the White House, let the people rise up and tell him, ‘Come on.’ He’ll switch, he switches on everything.”

While President Donald Trump may not be dedicated to any of his political positions, there are other members of the Trump administration, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who have spoken ardently about eliminating the use of marijuana, for all purposes. Ventura has some strong words for Sessions.

“We need to combat a guy like Jeff Sessions who obviously doesn’t read anything and doesn’t educate himself,” said Ventura. “When you watched him testify, you could tell he wasn’t well educated. He didn’t even know legal answers that you would think that the attorney general should know off the top of his head … I mean the attorney general is the highest ranking attorney in America! You ought to know the laws then and he stood up there like he had no idea what was legal or illegal.”

Ventura didn’t spare Trump of his criticism either, noting, “I think I’d tell [Trump] to try applying something that is not used in government often called ‘common sense.'”

“I think he could use a dose of it.”


Q: What is 'The Marijuana Manifesto'? -

'The Marijuana Manifesto' it's almost like a schoolbook on cannabis. It goes through the history of it. It talks about how, for the first 150 years of the United States, it was the backbone of our economy. It was fully accepted. In fact, I like to tell people that if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were alive today they'd be doing ten to twelve in a federal prison as major drug dealers. So we cover the history of cannabis, all the way until today, and we cover how the public has been mislead and how they've been lied to about this remarkable plant. In light of that, I view 'The Marijuana Manifesto' as a textbook so we can educate the public and make them aware of all the untruths that they maybe harbor over being told things that are not true about cannabis and down through the years.

Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception about cannabis? -

One of the biggest misconceptions is the fact that it was our economic drive that drove the economic machine of America for its first 150 years of its existence. The only reason cannabis was dethroned was when they developed the cotton gin, to where they could harvest cotton with a machine, and that led to cotton being the major thing to make clothing out of. There's just a lot of things, misconceptions, about cannabis. In light of today, it has so many medical uses that I've taken the position that the people that banned cannabis from us, they should go to prison for what they did. I mean, the bottom line is, how could you go to jail for using a product that god made? And how can you go to jail for committing a crime against yourself? Drug addiction, or the use of anything of that sort, is you. Well, in a free society, you can't commit a crime against yourself in what should be a free society. And yet, we put people in jail for using a plant created by god.

Q: Do you think that the Trump Administration will crack down on marijuana again? -

They've talked about it, that's all. Trump goes with the blow of the breeze. All we need to do is start calling the White House, let the people rise up and tell him, 'Come on.' He'll switch, he switches on everything.

Q: What about Jeff Sessions and other members of the administration? -

Who knows how long Jeff Sessions will be there, you know? This seems, to me, like an administration that is going to have rapid turn-over. There's going to be people coming and going, I think. We need to combat a guy like Jeff Sessions who obviously doesn't read anything and doesn't educate himself. When you watched him testify, you could tell he wasn't well educated. He didn't even know legal answers that you would think that the attorney general should know off the top of his head. I found that remarkable. I mean the attorney general is the highest ranking attorney in America! You ought to know the laws then and he stood up there like he had no idea what was legal or illegal.

Q: What advice do you have for President Trump? -

I think I'd tell him to try applying something that is not used in government often called 'common sense.' And I think he could use a dose of it. And he needs to remember, having come from the private, corporate world – I don't think he's fully grasped that government provides services, not bottom line profit. And that's the difference between government and corporations. Corporations are for profit, government is to provide services and I don't think that Trump has fully grasped that concept yet. And the fact that he's not a dictator, that there are three branches of government that check and balance each other, and he needs to learn how to operate under that system. He can't simply come in and write executive orders and change the world.