Roby Brock from Talk Business & Politics questioned Press Secretary Sean Spicer about the enforcement of federal marijuana laws:
Spicer denoted a “big difference” between the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce federal marijuana laws as they apply to medical or recreational use. Spicer then cited the current opioid epidemic as a reason the government may want to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have approved recreational marijuana.
Spicer’s comments are sending shockwaves through the marijuana industry this afternoon. The current administration has been tight-lipped about their intention to interfere with states’ rights by funding the Department of Justice in their crusade against marijuana in the United States. President Trump has provided mixed signals on how he may approach marijuana prohibition for the next four years.
During his election campaign in October 2015, Trump told the Washington Post that “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.” By June of 2015, Trump switched his stance on the topic when questioned about Colorado’s recreational cannabis, stating that “I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about it.” In the past, Trump has also called for the legalization of all drugs as the way to win the war on drugs and take money out of the hands of cartels.
President Trump’s fluid opinion on the subject of recreational marijuana is less than relevant. What is important is his instruction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the rest of the Department of Justice. During today’s press conference, Sean Spicer noted that the decision to enforce federal laws over state laws would likely be left to the Department of Justice.
Spicer believes that the DOJ will be looking into the issue further.