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article imageFederal marijuana laws — Who to believe, Trump or Spicer?

By Karen Graham     Feb 23, 2017 in Politics
While the news may or may not be fake, Sean Spicer, the Trump administration's mouthpiece did tell reporters on Thursday the White House expects federal marijuana laws, even in states where it is legal, to be enforced.
White House press secretary Spicer told reporters that states will be subject to “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use, a move that would affect states where recreational use of marijuana has already been legalized.
According to the Washington Post, Spicer said that Trump sees a "big difference" between those people who use marijuana as a medical treatment and those who use it recreationally.
Medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity to ease suffering from cancer  glaucoma  HIV or AIDS  Hepa...
Medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity to ease suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Hepatitis C, Parkinson's disease and other conditions
, AFP/File
“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,” Spicer told reporters.
However, Spicer went on to say that states allowing the recreational use of marijuana "is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into.” The Washington writes that the DOJ declined to comment on Spicer's remarks Thursday afternoon.
Spicer's remarks on the Trump administration's stance on marijuana is a complete about-face from President Obama's stance on the drug laid out in an official memo that stated the federal government wouldn’t interfere in states where the nonmedical use of marijuana is allowed.
As of the first of the year, the District of Columbia and eight states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine allow adults to use marijuana recreationally, according to The Cannabist. And 28 states have approved the use of medical marijuana.
Most drug enforcement operations are carried out at the state and local levels, with little interference by federal law enforcement authorities, and the enforcement of marijuana laws have been given a low-priority by federal authorities who have focused on drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic going on in the nation.
Synthetic marijuana is being cited by police and public health officials for a dramatic surge in pot...
Synthetic marijuana is being cited by police and public health officials for a dramatic surge in potentially lethal overdoses and drug-related offenses nationwide
Spencer Platt, Getty Images/AFP
The appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General is not making things any easier for advocates of marijuana use, either. Sessions is not a supporter of the drug, even though he curbed his dislike for marijuana during his confirmation hearing by saying that "disrupting state marijuana markets" by enforcing federal drug laws could create a strain on federal resources. But then he said he “won’t commit to never enforcing the law.”
But Spicer managed to link marijuana use with opioid use and the widespread use of painkillers. While this might please the pharmaceutical companies who have taken heat for their part in the increase in opioid users, it doesn't help the marijuana industry.
“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,” Spicer said, according to WTVR.com.. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and drugs of that nature.”
It should be noted that Trump gave the public a different view of his stance on marijuana, saying in October 2015, “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state. He also told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly he was “in favor of medical marijuana 100 percent."
So does this mean Trump and Spicer are not on the same page? Who knows.......
More about federal marijuana laws, Medical Marijuana, recreational users, Donald trump, sean spicer
 
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