President Donald Trump plans to mount a serious defense against recreational marijuana use. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, said Thursday he expects states will see “greater enforcement” of the federal law against marijuana use, according to Politico.
Trump’s opposition runs counter to a growing number of states that have decided to legalize it.
Spicer said Trump respects medical marijuana use. The press secretary said 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.”
As for “recreational marijuana, that’s a very, very different subject,” Spicer said. He explained that the administration sees connections between recreational marijuana use and widespread opioid addiction.
The Marijuana Policy Project issued a response.
“The vast majority of Americans agree that the federal government has no business interfering in state marijuana laws,” said director of communications Mason Tvert. “This administration is claiming that it values states’ rights, so we hope they will respect the rights of states to determine their own marijuana policies. It is hard to imagine why anyone would want marijuana to be produced and sold by cartels and criminals rather than tightly regulated, taxpaying businesses. Mr. Spicer says there is a difference between medical and recreational marijuana, but the benefits of and need for regulation apply equally to both.
“Mr. Spicer acknowledged that the Justice Department is currently prohibited from using funds to interfere in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. It is critical that Congress once again includes that provision in the next budget, and we are hopeful that they will also adopt a provision that extends that principle to all state marijuana laws.”
The National Cannabis Industry Association also issued a statement, saying: "it would be a mistake for the Department of Justice to overthrow the will of the voters and state governments who have created carefully regulated adult-use marijuana programs."