While Donald Trump appeared to support medical marijuana and not really care about recreational marijuana during the 2016 election, him choosing Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general concerned many marijuana supporters. After all, Sessions has said in the past that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Now, with some new comments from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, marijuana entrepreneurs and users are becoming more uneasy.
In response to a question concerning how the administration will handle recreational marijuana, Spicer said the following:
“I think that is a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Because again there is a big difference between the medical use … that’s very different from the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.”
With that statement, it would appear the administration is willing to let medical use go untouched, but there may be a crackdown on recreational use. Washington State is already preparing for legal battles.
Considering the Trump administration has angered women’s rights groups, LGBT groups, Muslims, immigrants and more, you’d think they’d try to keep the highly organized marijuana movement happy. You may be wrong.
“The reality is that both red & blue state constituents want legal cannabis, marijuana is a massive job creator, and a multi billion dollar taxable industry that has been a success thus far,” Jason Spatafora, a marijuana industry investor and owner of marijuanastocks.com, told The 420 Times. He said going after recreational marijuana would be a mistake.
“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,” Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, told The 420 Times. “With a clear and growing majority of the country now supporting legalization, reneging on his promises would be a political disaster and huge distraction from the rest of the president’s agenda.”
Considering the profits recreational marijuana states are seeing, with eight states having legalized, it would surely not be a popular move to try to stop sales from occurring or to take down major recreational retailers/growers. Colorado alone did over $1 billion in marijuana sales last year, and that money has helped fund schools and support homeless people.
Spicer also compared marijuana use to the opioid epidemic during his press conference, which seemed absurd to many in the cannabis industry.
“When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country,” Spicer said, “the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There’s a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
Spatafora pointed out the error. “When Sean Spicer tried to make a connection between marijuana & opioid addiction the administration showed that either they are incompetent to fact based data or they are trying to steer medical marijuana towards big pharma,” Spatafora said. “Still the fact remains that the war on marijuana has been an epic failure & the easiest way to crush the black markets is to legalize cannabis.”
Considering opioid use typically decreases when a state legalizes marijuana, the facts are certainly not on Spicer’s side.
[Photo by Evan Guest/Flickr]