Asked twice by reporters on Thursday about the Trump administration’s approach to the legal marijuana industry, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had the following response.
When initially asked about the disconnect between federal law and state medical marijuana laws, Spicer replied:
“There’s two distinct issues here: medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. I think, medical marijuana, I’ve said before, that 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. And that’s one that Congress, through a rider in 2011, looking for a little help, I think put in an appropriations bill, saying that the DOJ wouldn’t be funded to go after those folks.
When pressed after that on whether the federal government would ramp up enforcement on recreational marijuana businesses, Spicer said:
“I think that’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it, because again, there’s a big difference between the medical use, which Congress has, through an appropriations rider in 2014, made very clear what their intent was on how the Department of Justice would handle that issue. That’s very different from the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.”