Spicer: Expect ‘Greater Enforcement’ of Marijuana Law
The White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Thursday that under President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Department of Justice will do more to enforce federal marijuana laws.
“Well I think that’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Because again there’s a big difference between the medical use … that’s very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into,” Spicer told reporters today.
President Donald Trump “understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them,” Spicer told reporters as he was taking questions at the daily briefing. This is a complete departure from the Obama administrations position on both medial and recreational marijuana. AND it comes on the heels of a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 71% of Americans oppose efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it’s legal. According to the poll 59% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. “The Department of Justice will be “further looking into” the marijuana enforcement question,” Spicer said.
“The vast majority of Americans agree that the federal government has no business interfering in state marijuana laws, said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project in a statement we just received. “This administration is claiming that it values states’ rights, so we hope they will respect the rights of states to determine their own marijuana policies. It is hard to imagine why anyone would want marijuana to be produced and sold by cartels and criminals rather than tightly regulated, taxpaying businesses. Mr. Spicer says there is a difference between medical and recreational marijuana, but the benefits of and need for regulation apply equally to both.”
This is a major blow to a nascent cannabis industry that’s been on pins and needles waiting for a signal on how the Trump administration would approach trend of legalizing the use of medical and recreational marijuana. Today Mr. Spicer acknowledged that the Justice Department is currently prohibited from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws, Tvert continued in his statement. “It is critical that Congress once again includes that provision in the next budget, and we are hopeful that they will also adopt a provision that extends that principle to all state marijuana laws.”
Spicer suggested that the administration is opposed to encouraging recreational marijuana use and connected it with the crisis with opioid addiction in some areas, said Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group, Marijuana Majority. “When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” he said. The stance the administration is taking is an easy way to turn the majority of the American people against it, “If the administration is looking for ways to become less popular, cracking down on voter-approved marijuana laws would be a great way to do it.”
How do you feel about Spicer’s latest remarks about the future of marijuana? Should we be worried? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.