Recreational Pot: Is Trump a State Right Advocate or Not?

On February 23, Trump’s press Secretary Sean Spicer raised quite a stir when he stated the federal government could step up enforcement against recreational marijuana use in states.

by Mish

Was that a trial balloon of some sort. Was Spicer just yapping his mouth not knowing Trump’s position? The number of miscues in this administration is so high one does not know what to think.

This morning Trump Told governors that he’s all about states’ rights. That shouldmean Trump will Leave Marijuana Laws Alone.

The actual title in the above link says “That Must Mean …” but I am not sure anything “must” happen or “must” be logical.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at the encouraging details.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer rattled marijuana advocates last week when he warned that the federal government may start cracking down on states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

But that’s not the message President Donald Trump delivered to governors during a private breakfast at the White House on Monday.

According to one of the governors in the room, Trump repeatedly told the group he wants states to focus on crafting their own policies without fear of the federal government butting in. The president never mentioned marijuana laws, but for some, his strong defense of states’ rights signaled he’s not about to send the feds after states that are currently regulating the plant on their own.

“What I heard from him over and over this morning is they want to give more flexibility to the states,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told The Huffington Post in an interview. “He wants to give the states a relative amount of freedom and flexibility. So we will be asking for that around, for example, marijuana policy.”

Asked about Spicer’s warnings of federal intervention, Brown said, “It’s totally counter to everything [the president] said today.”

Spicer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Leave it to the States

In pulling back from Mr. Trump’s assurance during the campaign that states should be left to decide their own marijuana policies, Mr. Spicer made clear that a battle is coming over marijuana policy. It will be a fight that pits a Justice Department headed by a fervent prohibitionist, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, against the eight states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington — in which voters have approved ballot measures to legally regulate marijuana,as well as other states likely to legalize marijuana in the near future.

There’s probably not much the Trump administration can do to reverse public support for legalizing marijuana. A Quinnipiac poll last Thursday found voters in the United States favored legalization by 59 percent to 36 percent, with only Republicans and older voters opposed. An impressive 71 percent, including majorities of Republicans and older voters, think the federal government should not interfere in states that have legalized marijuana. Gallup and other polls report similar findings, including strong majority support for legalizing among Republican millennials.

hat Mr. Sessions’ Justice Department can do, however, is cast a chill over the rapidly growing legal and regulated marijuana industry by targeting key players with raids, seizures of property and prosecutions in federal court, and by challenging the ability of state authorities to regulate the industry. That would be shameful given the demonstrable benefits of legal regulation: tens of thousands of taxpaying jobs; hundreds of millions of dollars annually in state tax revenue; strict oversight of cultivation, product production and distribution; savings in law enforcement costs; and far fewer young people, disproportionately African-American and Latino, saddled with criminal records. Donald Trump the businessman should get this but Jeff Sessions, the reefer madness ideologue, doesn’t care.

Sessions is a Neanderthal

I nearly gagged when Spicer made those comments. Were they reflective of Sessions’ view or Trump’s?

Who is out of control here: Spicer? Sessions? Or is Trump going to go after recreational pot?

Sessions is clearly a Neanderthal. Trump is too if he takes this advice from Sessions.

Someone has some explaining to do, and it would be best at this point if Trump made his intentions clear.

If Trump really wants Sessions to crack down on pot, he is no states rights advocate.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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