Over the past few years, eight states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, and 20 more have legalized it for medical uses. President Barack Obama’s administration took a hands-off approach to these states, deciding not to enforce federal laws that prohibit marijuana use as long as states followed some rules.
But what will President Donald Trump’s administration do?
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave the clearest answer yet to this question:
There’s two distinct issues here: medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. I think medical marijuana, I’ve said before, that the president 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. And that’s one that Congress, through a rider in , put an appropriations bill saying that the Department of Justice wouldn’t be funded to go after those folks.
There’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. And I think that 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. There’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.
Given all this, Spicer said, “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it.” (For the record, though, the research increasingly shows that relaxing marijuana laws leads to fewer opioid overdose deaths.)
Our IP Address: