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The marijuana industry was recently shaken up after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects the Department of Justice to boost enforcement of federal laws restricting recreational cannabis, even in states where it is legal already. Along with the District of Columbia, eight states have legalized recreational use among adults. That means one in five American adults can smoke, vape, drink, or eat cannabis under state law.

Over 50% of the nation’s states have legalized medical cannabis despite federal laws restricting its sale. According to Cowen & Co., the industry is estimated to be worth more than $6 billion and will hit $50 billion by 2026. Derek Peterson, CEO of marijuana cultivator Terra Tech Corp. stated, “Today’s news coming out of the administration regarding the adult use of cannabis is, of course, disappointing. We have hoped and still hope that the federal government will respect states’ rights in the same manner they have on several other issues.”

Spicer sought to analyze the prospect of federal enforcement for medical, versus recreational, marijuana use, saying “there’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.” Spicer’s statements revived industry concern that first arose when Republican President Donald Trump’s short-list of potential attorney general nominees emerged. The final pick, former senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has long opposed cannabis use, but is a major proponent of state’s rights.

In his mid-January confirmation hearing, Sessions said he wouldn’t “commit to never enforcing federal law” but added that “absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government.” He said that if Congress felt cannabis possession should no longer be illegal, it “should pass a law.” Trump has similarly gone back and forth on the issue of legalization. A restriction on the industry would reverse existing federal policy and go against public opinion. The Obama administration largely deferred to the states, instead focusing on preventing distribution to minors, blocking sales across state lines, and keeping it out of the hands of gangs and criminals. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found 71% of voters think “the government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational use.”


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2 comments
  1. The entire War Against Some Drugs is blatantly unconstitutional to begin with. The Feds at least passed a Constitutional Amendment when prohibiting alcohol. We all know how that experiment worked out. The entire basis of the Government’s prohibition of cannabis is based on proven lies, steeped in systemic corruption and draped in a façade of legitimacy. This travesty foisted upon the citizens of the world has caused the ruination of countless lives and may well prove to be one of the biggest crimes against humanity committed during the 20th Century. How many souls would have been spared the suffering of ailments long ago successfully treated by cannabis products that were prohibited to enrich the Usual Suspects. I for one deeply resent having to seek permission to use a natural product from what is essentially organized crime protecting it’s turf. I’m 60 years old. I have used cannabis all my adult life. I never get sick, except to have had to watch literally dozens of friends and family succumb to various cancers and other afflictions that are proving to be susceptible to cannabinoids. As I expected, the Trump Administration is turning out to be a catastrophe. And I voted for him based on his statements about the legalization of cannabis being a States Rights issue. You think I would have learned to not trust a politician by now. Because the only thing can count on is that they will disappoint you.

  2. Sessions and Spicer both can go suck Obama’s big fat one. Neither one even looks like he might have smoked a joint before. In order to say if marijuana is good or bad for you don’t you think they should both at least try it before you hate it? I have smoked it sinse the 60’s and I have not robbed, stolen or killed anyone. They both need to spark one up and enjoy. The world would be a better place. But that is only my opinion. Thanks.

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