State treasurers ask Trump for legal clarification on cannabis

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The state treasurers of both Illinois and Massachusetts this week asked the Trump administration for legal clarity on where the new president stands on marijuana.

On Tuesday, Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking for specifics on how the Department of Justice plans on enforcing federal cannabis laws, the Associated Press reported.

A day before that, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs sent President Trump a letter requesting clarification on exactly what his administration’s overall MJ policy will be and how it could affect stakeholders such as medical cannabis patients, doctors who recommend MMJ, and state-licensed businesses, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“If the Trump administration seeks greater enforcement, then it should clearly define what this means so hardworking people in Illinois can make informed decisions,” Frerichs said, referring to a prediction White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made on Feb. 23 that “greater enforcement” of federal MJ laws was on the horizon.

Goldberg has similar concerns, the AP reported, given that neither Trump nor Sessions has articulated a specific cannabis policy, and because the Obama administration operated on a mostly hands-off approach to state MJ laws under the 2013 Cole Memo.

Frerichs’ press release further stated that Trump’s approach to banking marijuana-related businesses “will be a strong consideration when lawmakers decide to expand or kill (Illinois’ MMJ) pilot program” when it sunsets in 2020.