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Rupar writes: "During his press conference on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked whether the Trump administration plans to crack down on states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized recreational marijuana."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. (photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. (photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Trump Administration Signals New War on Drugs, Crackdown on Marijuana Use

By Aaron Rupar, ThinkProgress

24 February 17


“I think there is a big difference between medical marijuana… versus recreational marijuana,” Sean Spicer said.

uring his press conference on Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was asked whether the Trump administration plans to crack down on states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Spicer signaled that the Trump administration will break with the Obama administration’s policy of not enforcing federal law criminalizing marijuana in states that have taken a different approach.

“There are two distinct issues here — medical marijuana and recreational marijuana,” Spicer replied. “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 them.”

But when the topic turned to recreational marijuana, Spicer conflated it with opioids and indicated the Trump administration is equally opposed to people using it.

“When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in some the states in the country, the last we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature. So, I think there is a big difference between medial marijuana which the states where it’s allowed… have set forth a process to administer and regulate that usage, versus recreational marijuana and that’s a very, very different subject.”

In response to a follow-up question about whether “the federal goverment [is] going to take some sort of action around this recreational marijuana in some of these states,” Spicer said that while it’s “a question for the Department of Justice,” he does think “you will see greater enforcement of it.”

Spicer’s comments don’t bode well for those who support relaxing marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is staunchly anti-marijuana — he said last year that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and called Obama-era drug policy reforms a “tragic mistake.”

His comments also represent a break from what Trump said during his campaign, when he said, “in terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state by state.”

But the Trump administration’s inconsistent interpretation of which issues are states’ issues and which are federal was on display during other parts of Thursday’s news conference.

In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell cited a Quinnipiac University poll that was released Wednesday and shows 71 percent of Americans oppose efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized 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,” Angell said. “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.” your social media marketing partner


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+4 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-02-24 11:37
There's no limit to Trumpery idiocy. & notice the inconsistent wambling of States' Rights....
+3 # farmgoddess 2017-02-24 11:38
As if Sessions - and the rest of his corrupt, evil repug ilk - would have a clue about what good people do!! What a sad, sick joke.

God gave us all the plants and herbs of the earth to use for food and medicine, and entrusted us to CARE for the planet as stewards - not wreck it as selfish, destructive, greed-crazed cretins!!

Apparently the corrupt corporate minions of Congress (of both parties) can't grasp that.

This evil, greedy administration will go down in history as the most corrupt and destructive the world has ever seen, and the rubber-stamping corpo-congress will be viewed as the prime enablers.

Good people think for themselves. And ACT to protect freedom, the rights of livings beings to exist, and peace for all. THAT'S what good people do!
+4 # Johnny 2017-02-24 13:19
Cracking down on marijuana would be a payback for the campaign contributions from the recreational alcohol industry.
-2 # HowardMH 2017-02-24 14:18
When is Priebus going to resign, or be fired, or be charged with a SERIOUS Crime?

Only 4 people have the authority to contact the DOJ (the FBI is part of DOJ) with any comments or questions on an ongoing investigation and Priebus is NOT ONE OF THEM.

My new Media Hero’s:
MSNBC Host Joy Reid Cuts Off Ex-Congressman “Rep J.D. Hayworth” After ‘Offensive’ Immigration Talk

CNN host Don Lemon abruptly ended his show Friday night after a commentator continued to call a story they were discussing "fake news" while defending President Trump.

Way to go Joy and Don!!!
0 # BluePill 2017-02-24 14:55
"reneging on his promises would be a political disaster and huge distraction from the rest of the president’s agenda."

ya think? So far it doesn't seem to be affecting his actions.
+4 # Femihumanist 2017-02-24 18:24
Marijuana is not an opiod. However, I was using an opiod for pain, afraid to use as much as I needed for my pain. Now, I'm on medical marijuana. I've used four oxycodone in the past two months; once, for the women's march.

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