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White House Opens Door To Crackdown On Recreational Marijuana

February 24, 2017

By Matt Ferner : huffingtonpost – excerpt (includes video)

Trump pledged to respect states’ rights on marijuana during his campaign. This may signal a reversal on that promise.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested during a press conference Thursday that the federal government may crack down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Spicer explained that President Donald Trump sees the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana as two distinct issues. When it comes to medical marijuana, Spicer indicated that the president understands the importance of the drug’s availability, especially to those facing terminal diseases. But when it comes to recreational use, Spicer had a very different take, connecting recreational marijuana use to the opioid crisis currently ravaging the nation…

When asked if the federal government will take action around recreational marijuana, Spicer said, “That’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it. Recreational use … is something the Department of Justice will be looking into.”…

Drug policy reformers have raised concerns that Sessions could use the FBI to crack down on marijuana operations nationwide, or direct the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce federal prohibition outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The court ruled in August that a federal rider blocks federal officials from prosecuting state-legal marijuana operators and patients. But that rider must be re-approved annually, and if it’s allowed to expire, Sessions could then order the DEA to enforce federal law nationally. He could also sue the various state governments that have set up regulatory schemes.

Either the President is flip-flopping or his staff is, once again, speaking out of turn.” – Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado)…

A federal crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana is in direct opposition with what American voters have said they want. A new survey from Quinnipiac University released Thursday found that a strong majority of American voters ― 71 percent ― want the federal government to respect state marijuana laws. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, independents and every age group polled agreed: the feds should not enforce prohibition in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana…

Recreationaal use … is something the Department of Justice will be looking into.”White House press secretary Sean Spicer…

“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,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “On the campaign trail, President Trump clearly and repeatedly pledged that he would leave decisions on cannabis policy to the states. 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.”.

National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith said it would be a “mistake” for DOJ to “overthrow the will of the voters and state governments” who have set up regulated adult-use programs…(more)

Just when you thought it was safe to bring a large industry into the public and open new commercial opportunities we get the two steps back approach. This may become a matter of states rights again, which is where it started. The original intent was to rid the country of aliens. Déjà vu.

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