White House press secretary had a conference on Thursday where he spoke about marijuana use. If you were hoping for good news, this isn’t it. In fact, Sean Spicer said that he believes there will be “greater enforcement” against weed use. More specifically, the administration’s beef is with recreational marijuana.
Sean Spicer On Trump’s Marijuana Stance
Sean Spicer said that the President “understands the pain and suffering that many people go through go through who are facing especially terminal diseases, and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them.”
He also said recreational marijuana is “a very very different subject.”
The white house press secretary went as far as comparing recreational marijuana to the countries opioid addiction crisis.
“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.
However, the only connection research finds between opioid addiction, and legal marijuana is a positive one.
A study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine looked at states with legalized marijuana and their opioid analgesic overdose mortality rate.
They found that the ten states with legalized weed at the time saw a 24.8% decrease in opioid overdoses.
So, “greater enforcement” against marijuana is like shutting off the fire hose during a fire to avoid another fire.
It also undermines the votes of so many Americans that wanted legal weed.
His comparisons remind us of when another member of the Trump administration, Jeff Sessions, used Lady Gaga’s “marijuana addiction” as evidence of the dangers legalization poses.
Trump’s Marijuana Stance
Since being sworn in, Trump has remained silent on all things cannabis. However, Sean Spicer’s comments seem to reinforce some of Trump’s past statements.
At the annual conservative CPAC gathering in February 2015, then-candidate Trump gave medical marijuana a thumbs up (immediately after he emphasized his feelings on recreational pot).
“I say it’s bad,” he said when answering a question about Colorado’s recreational marijuana law. “Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think bad. And I feel strongly about that.”
We wish we had better news to deliver to consumers of cannabis, but it looks we’re going to have to fight for our rights.
The President feels strongly that recreational marijuana is bad. His press secretary believes there will be a crackdown at the federal level, and according to Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing, he’s all for it.
Sessions is the attorney general and in charge of enforcing federal drug laws.
“I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law,” he responded to a question on whether or not he’d leave state marijuana laws to the states.
The Trump administration hasn’t made an official statement yet. Sean Spencer will be “further looking into” the marijuana enforcement question and we’ll be anxiously awaiting the next announcement.
Advocates, like Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority, noted the hypocrisy in Spencer’s comparison.
“If the administration is looking for ways to become less popular, cracking down on voter-approved marijuana laws would be a great way to do it,” he said in a statement. “On the campaign trail, President Trump clearly and repeatedly pledged that he would leave decisions on cannabis policy to the states. With a clear and growing majority of the country now supporting legalization, reneging on his promises would be a political disaster and huge distraction from the rest of the president’s agenda.”