Some fans of cannabis legalization and states’ rights were pretty put off by the Trump administration’s vague threats against recreational marijuana last Thursday. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that recreational cannabis can expect “greater enforcement” under the Trump regime than the industry experienced under President Obama.
Spicer did, however, go on to describe the virtues of medical cannabis. “There’s a big difference between [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana, and I think when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” he said. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
Though this MMJ support could be seen as a silver lining to a dark cloud, at least one drug policy expert says that the remark showcases just how confused the White House’s stance on marijuana is. According to John Hudak of the Brookings Institution, Spicer’s remarks show a “clear lack of understanding of federal law.”
Hudak told The Cannabist that the obvious logic flaw in the White House’s remarks are in making a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana. “I think it’s true in practice, it’s true in public opinion, but it’s not true in federal law,” he said. “Medical marijuana is just as illegal as recreational marijuana.”
In other words, Sean Spicer is just spewing a lot of hot air. “I think what is said from the podium and what happens in policy often have a disconnect,” Hudak said.
Given that Trump appointed an Attorney General who’s bothered more by marijuana than the KKK, the administration making a motion toward cracking down on recreational support is not all that surprising.
Nor is it surprising that Spicer’s presumably uncalculated remarks have already received some hard pushback, even among Trump’s base.
Roger Stone, a former advisor to the Trump campaign tweeted that moving against legal cannabis would be “a huge mistake” and “will cost thousands of jobs & bankrupt local govt.” The political strategist also left a “#StatesRights” in the message, highlighting the obvious contradiction in the administration, which has supported states rights in issues such as abortion.
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