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When asked this afternoon about the Trump administration's plan toward enforcing marijuana laws, White House spokesman Sean Spicer indicated that there would be no apparent change with the approach toward legalized marijuana, in part because of the budget rider that now prevents enforcement and because "the President understands the pain and suffering that many people go through, especially with terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs - including medical marijuana - can bring to them". "Medical marijuana, I've said before the president understands the pain and suffering many people go through who are facing terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can give to them".

Marijuana continues to be listed as a Schedule I substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration under the Controlled Substances Act, defined by the government as "drugs with no now accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse".

Recreational cannabis is now legal in the District of Columbia and eight states - Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada. "My question to you is - with Jeff Sessions over at the Department of Justice as AG, what's going to be the Trump administrations position on state marijuana legalization when it's in state/federal conflict like this?"

"Because again there's a big difference between the medical use ... that's very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into".

Ferguson said it was inconsistent for Trump and Republicans to support states' rights and a crackdown on legal marijuana in states where voters have approved it. While it is true that large population studies have shown that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to use other drugs than those who do not smoke, these studies show correlation and not causation.

As always, the irony factor surrounding President Donald Trump's administration was high.

States could fight efforts to weaken their marijuana laws in court.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson responded on Thursday afternoon, writing a letter to Sessions requesting a meeting to discuss marijuana enforcement. Medical use is allowed in 28 states.

"If a state wants to pass a law, that's their right", Sean said.

Spicer's response was very telling for recreational marijuana states and people running recreational marijuana operations.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department took more of a hands-off approach to states with recreational marijuana. First, in the same press conference, Spicer reiterated the reason Trump rescinded Obama-era protections for transgender students: He believes "it's a states' rights issue".

Patients, consumers, business owners, and government officials in legal states have been parsing cannabis-related language out of the Trump camp since the presidential campaign.

  • Leroy Wright