Trump Administration: the Ban of Recreational Marijuana Will be Enforced
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he expects the Justice Department (DOJ) to increase enforcement of laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana, a departure from the Hussein-Obama Admin’s less aggressive stance as states began legalizing recreational as well as medical use of the drug.
“There are 2 distinct issues here: medical marijuana and recreational marijuana,” Mr. Spicer said in a WH briefing Thursday. “There’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
The DOJ could decide to enforce federal law and shut down businesses in the medical and recreational cannabis industries even in states where they have been made legal.
That would be an about-face from the Hussein-Obama Admin’s policy of deferring to the states, saying it would concentrate on matters such as preventing distribution to minors, drugged driving and blocking revenue from going to gangs and criminals.
While President Donald Trump has called legalizing marijuana for anything other than medicinal use a “Bad” experiment, he also has said it’s a matter for the states. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was similarly ambiguous on the matter during his confirmation hearings, though he has previously come out strongly against the drug.
Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, where marijuana production and distribution has become an established industry, spoke with USAG Sessions before his confirmation about the business in his state and was assured there will be no sudden changes in policy.
“That was the take-away from my conversation with Jeff,” Sen. Gardner said. “It’s not a priority of the Trump administration.”
Cannabis is legal for recreational adult use in 8 states and Washington, DC including: California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, which all voted to legalize the drug this November.
That means 20% American adults can smoke, eat or drink marijuana as they please.
Medical use is allowed in 28 states.
Legalized cannabis was a $6-B industry in Y 2016 and is estimated to reach $50-B by Y 2026, according to Cowen & Co.
“I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Mr. Spicer said of the federal ban on marijuana.
Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment.
Being in the marijuana business now is a very dicey issue. Savvy investors are cautious in the extreme.
Have a terrific weekend
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