White House Press Secretary Hints Federal Marijuana Crackdown May Be Forthcoming

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director February 23, 2017

    CongressWhite House Press Secretary Sean Spicer today said that the Trump administration may engage in “greater” efforts to enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have legalized and regulated its adult use.

    In response to a question regarding how the administration intends to address statewide marijuana legalization laws, Spicer indicated that the administration views the regulation of marijuana for medical purposes as distinct from laws governing its adult use.

    He said: “I’ve said before that 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.” He then added, But “there’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. I think that 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.”

    On the latter topic, he concluded, “I do believe you will see greater enforcement” of anti-marijuana laws from the Department of Justice.

    While campaigning, President Trump voiced support for the authority of individual states to impose regulatory policies specific to the use and dispensing of medical cannabis, but was somewhat less clear with regard to whether he believed that state lawmakers ought to be able to regulate the adult use of cannabis absent federal interference. For instance, he stated that changes in the law in Colorado — one of eight states to legalize the adult use of marijuana — had led to “some big problems.”

    Senator Jeff Sessions, now US Attorney General, has been historically critical of marijuana policy reforms, stating: “[M]arijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized. … [I]t’s in fact a very real danger.” He also opined, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and previously endorsed legislation to execute marijuana traffickers.

    During his testimony before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, Sessions indicated that as US Attorney General he may take a more aggressive approach than did the Obama administration with regard to states that have enacted recreational use laws.

    Commenting on Spicer’s comments, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The press secretary’s comments are hardly surprising and they are similar to comments made by the new US Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his vetting process when he made clear that any use of marijuana remains against federal law and that ‘it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.’

    “Ultimately, those who reside in jurisdictions that have legalized and regulated cannabis under state law will only truly be safe from the threat of federal prosecution when and if members of Congress elect to amend federal marijuana laws in a manner that comports with majority public opinion and the plant’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status. Certainly, Congressional passage of HR 975, ‘The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act,’ and/or re-authorization of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment would be steps in the right direction to protect patients and others in legal states from undue federal interference.

    “If federal politicians were truly listening to the will of the electorate, they would move forward to enact these federal changes, which are strongly in line with voters’ sentiments. According to national polling data released today, 71 percent of voters — including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.” In short, undermining voters’ wishes and state laws in this regard not only defies common sense, it is also bad politics — particularly for an administration that is defining itself as populist in nature.”

    Click here to email your member of Congress and urge them to support The Respect States’ Marijuana Laws Act.
    Click here to email your member of Congress to insist that they join the newly formed Cannabis Caucus.

    160 responses to “White House Press Secretary Hints Federal Marijuana Crackdown May Be Forthcoming”

    1. Jerome Almon says:

      As I warned 2 weeks ago, the plan existed to freeze and end state legalization, and that after the Monday Feb. 13 meeting at the White House, the plan would be put into motion. Barring there is a change in strategy from the industry and activists, legalization is over. It is either preventative policy and action, or it is over.



      2) LGBT



    2. Fugop says:

      Forget it fascists. Trump got 25% of eligible voters, and that was through election fraud and voter suppression. You have no mandate. The West Coast is ready to secede.

      • Miles says:

        If the west coast secedes I will be among the first to leave the east coast! I just can’t stand the way that Trump/Bannon is turning our country into something resembling George Orwell’s classic book “1984”. If you’ve never read it there is no time like the present to do so. I promise you it will be a big eye-opener!

        • Four More Years says:

          I strongly urge everyone to read 1984, also check out ” The Iron Heel” by Jack London. Orwell cited it as his inspiration for 1984.

    3. William says:

      As a medical professional, I find the comments about marijuana unfounded and deplorable. Spicer is simply a pawn that is being highly influenced by the pharmaceutical lobby especially those companies who manufacture hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, ect. These companies are making billions of dollars helping more and more people become addicted to their products. For Spicer to blatantly make the accusation that marijuana is the major cause for the opioid crisis only must mean he like all the trump administrations are delusional religious despots who only spew facts that are non factual. the merre fact that in this day and age that marijuana is a gateway drug is as far from the truth as possible. This non scientific is only based on wingnut politics. Perhaps the focus should be eliminating the opioids which are the gateway to heroin certainly not marijuana Mr Spicer.

      • Anonymous says:

        I actually took the time to read your remark, William. You are RIGHT about the Gateway theroy being a myth. It is.It is false, It is not true at ALL. Just because I CHOOSE to utilize marijuana, for all it’s effects, for all it’s potential BENEFITS, does not make me a criminal. I think the nomination of this AG is EXTREMELY disturbing, especially in light of all the progress we have made. Legalize and legalize NOW. Stop this MADNESS!

      • Matt says:

        I actually took the time to read your remark, William. You are RIGHT about the Gateway theroy being a myth. It is.It is false, It is not true at ALL. Just because I CHOOSE to utilize marijuana, for all it’s effects, for all it’s potential BENEFITS, does not make me a criminal. I think the nomination of this AG is EXTREMELY disturbing, especially in light of all the progress we have made. Legalize and legalize NOW. Stop this MADNESS!

    4. Shamus says:

      NORML, they’ll try to break you in court. Imho. The booze, casino, oil and tobacco mob is thick w pedophile scum. #antifa / civil war two . San-racism. And don’t bother reading or watching news sources the fascist owns.


    5. pat p says:

      Not going to happen, we will not allow this.

    6. Dwight says:

      Yes there is an opioid epidemic killing people so we need to crack down on marijuana which kills nobody.

    7. QuaxMercy says:

      Forget petitions! We’re NOT asking permission or AG approval. WE are the informed majority. WE have the numbers, the science, the tide of history. MASSIVE, MASSIVE civil disobedience! Overgrow the White House, Lafayette Park, GW Parkway down by the Pentagon (old hemp test fields), Mt. Vernon. Everywhere!

    8. Mike Securo says:

      This issue is truly about personal freedom. I sent this to my representatives and senators.

      According to our founding documents, it is “self evident” (any fool can see) that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights (they are given by the Creator, and codified in the founding documents. The documents DON’T give us the rights, it just memorializes the fact that they are God given and can’t be taken away by any man). “Among these are the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness…”
      If this is true, then no man has the right to restrict the freedom of another man. Same with any elected group of representatives…they are in power to PROTECT our rights, not RESTRICT them. Unless of course the exercise of my personal freedom infringes on the rights of another citizen. Than we need a law.
      That being said, I have a question: What legal instrument gives government the right to make any law that restricts personal freedom (again, unless it infringes upon the rights of another)?
      The People didn’t give government the power or right or authority to make any law that restricts personal freedom. In fact it’s just the opposite: We elect you to PROTECT our rights.
      So where does the authority come from to restrict a Person from pursuing happiness?
      Isn’t it true then that any law restricting me from pursuing Happiness is an ILLEGAL law?

      Let’s grow up and stop arresting and imprisoning People in their pursuit of happiness.

      Thank you sir for your time.

    9. Frances Iannarone says:

      Keep your promise and let the states decide!!! If you want to make it Federal than legalize it

    10. Paul says:

      Big pharma sees cannabis as a threat, they line the pockets of the politicians to get there way, just like Monsanto coercing Obama with the GMO debacle.

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