President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday named six term Republican Congressman Tom Price, (R-Ga.) as his pick for Health and Human Services secretary, a position to manage all of the federal government health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon, is considered as the most consistently anti-marijuana members of the Congress. He has been voting against a number of marijuana proposals before the House in recent years.
Price had voted against a measure that would prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state recreational marijuana laws. He also voted six times against amendments preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. And he also voted three times against a measure that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to veterans who might benefit from it.
However, Price has supported a limited measure preventing the Justice Department from interfering with states that allow the medical use of cannabidiol. He has also voted to ensure that federal funds aren't used to stymie research into industrial uses of hemp.
During the campaign, Trump railed against the Affordable Care Act and vowed to repeal and replace it. He frequently pledged to respect state marijuana laws, saying that he personally knows people who benefit from medical marijuana.
Marijuana advocates are now worried that Trump administration may not end up following through on those campaign promises by filling the Cabinet with people like Price and Sessions. It was recently revealed that Trump was putting on Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, another vicious opponent of marijuana legalization, to head up the Justice Department as U.S. Attorney General.
Meanwhile, Trump adviser Newt Gingrich has tweeted his approval, calling Price “the right leader to help Congress replace Obamacare."