The White House has a secret committee to collect negative data on marijuana. They want to present a bullet-point version of "keep off the grass" to the president. Trump should not be so easily fooled. Americans, many of whom have voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, certainly aren’t.

The White House office of National Drug Control Policy has reportedly set up a secret committee to push anti-marijuana messaging. That group, the Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee, first reported by BuzzFeed, sought to dig up “data demonstrating the most significant negative trends” about marijuana. The goal of this data? According to BuzzFeed, it’s “to be used in a briefing for Trump “on marijuana threats.”

To make this happen, the White House requested that agencies and departments submit a two-page fact sheet listing threats posed by marijuana by Aug. 10, along with pictures and images highlighting the dangers of marijuana.

You can imagine how this plays out. The committee presents their information in thick stacks along with the most damning pictures that can be found or made and, like clockwork, Trump issues a presidential tweet condemning marijuana legalization. Victory for the anti-marijuana faction in the White House.

[Also read: Trump can 'probably' support marijuana bill giving states control]

The only problem with this is that when it comes to marijuana, Americans have been told various versions of this story on the dangers of the evil marijuana for decades, yet they have kept on using it. Plenty of Americans have also voted to legalize it, or at least make it available for medical use, something still prohibited by federal law.

There is a good case for marijuana. in most ways it’s less harmful than alcohol and has proven medical uses. There have been no overdose deaths from marijuana. And legalization has brought in lots of tax revenue to the jurisdictions that have taken that path. Plus, of course, there's the reason Americans have been using it for more than a century. Even the DEA agrees that “as described in scientific literature” marijuana causes “merriment, happiness, and even exhilaration in high doses.”

If the reports are correct, the administration was looking only for negative information rather than weighing the facts or consulting the scientific literature with an open mind. That seems like a recipe for a White House policy not based on facts, but rather predetermined conclusions.

For his part, Trump has said little on the issue of legalization. In June he seemed to express support for legislation drafted by Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, that would protect states that have legalized marijuana from enforcement of federal laws against it.

Trying to convince the president that he should wage war on pot is not a step, but a leap in the wrong direction. The government should not be starting a deliberate misinformation campaign that aims to thwart the states' powers to set their own marijuana policy.

These efforts from the Trump administration come as nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use and more than half of states around the country have made marijuana legal for medical use. Many more states will vote on recreational or medical marijuana legalization in November. If nothing else, for a president that really does want to be popular, the grassroots support for legalization should give him pause.

When that committee does arrive in the Oval Office, the president should treat it as stoners treat the now classic movie "Reefer Madness." Take in the narrative and burst out laughing.