Washington Ready To Fight If Necessary To Keep Its Legal Marijuana
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Feb 24, 2017,
Feb 24, 2017, 11:33
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that voters could expect to see "greater enforcement" of federal laws against the use of recreational marijuana, seeming to signal that President Donald Trump was willing to put down nascent attempts at legalization that are spreading nationwide. How the discrepancy between state and federal law will be handled is "a question for the Department of Justice, but I do believe you'll see greater enforcement" of federal laws, Spicer said.
"There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature", Spicer said during his daily press briefing. During today's press conference, Spicer was asked about cannabis legalization and how the new administration planned to address states that have legalized it, both medically and recreationally.
In 2014, a study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found a 25 percent decrease in prescription drug overdoses in states with medical marijuana laws that allowed patients with chronic pain to participate in the program. And Ferguson said he "will use every tool at our disposal" to defend Washington's voter-approved marijuana marketplace.
A spokesperson for Attorney General Sessions declined to comment Thursday. "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". And some experts' research suggests that cannabidiol, an element in marijuana, could actually be used to help treat opioid addiction, Quartz reported.
Last week, Ferguson and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting a meeting to discuss marijuana legalization.
"That is something you should follow up with ... them but they are going to continue to enforce the laws on the books with respect to recreational marijuana", Spicer said, according to a CSPAN transcript.
Spicer's remarks on the Trump administration's stance on marijuana is a complete about-face from President Obama's stance on the drug laid out in an official memo that stated the federal government wouldn't interfere in states where the nonmedical use of marijuana is allowed.
"Thanks, Roby. There's two distinct issues here: medical marijuana and recreational marijuana".
The vague statement, which is open to interpretation, appears to a challenge against the eight states that have opted to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.
Medical use, he said, is not in question.
In a news conference today, February 23, Spicer drew a sharp divide between recreational and medical marijuana use.