White House press secretary’s full comments on cannabis

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.

“There’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana, and I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature. So I think there’s a big difference between medical marijuana, which states have a, the states where it’s allowed, in accordance with the appropriations rider, have set forth a process to administer and regulate that usage versus recreational marijuana. That’s a very, very different subject.”

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.”

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9 comments on “White House press secretary’s full comments on cannabis
  1. Lance on

    Does Trump want to outsource to criminals, many associated with Mexican cartels, the 150,000 jobs of the now growing and distributing cannabis in the states that legalized it?

  2. John Dickinson on

    1. Confiscate the funds that WA state alcoholics have taken while promising riches. Then refund these fees to those not given a license. The WA state group in charge are running a classic Ponzi scheme, corrupt as the day is long.
    2. Stop using the term ‘cartel’ when talking about groups, organizations or gangs in the drug biz. None of them sit down, have tea and discuss pricing as the oil biz does.
    3. Stop using the term ‘black’ market. The illicit, underground, illegal market is not an African American market.
    4. Dump the greedy, environmentally destructive, pesticide driven recreational weed market. Medically grown cannabis should drive the market instead of dollars.

  3. Scoot on

    If “they” recognize the medical benefits for MMJ… then you seem obligated to recognize that the plant is not a schedule one med with NO MEDICINAL value…

    I have been in the ancillary product business for five yrs and this is kind of scary.


  4. Dave Jiles on

    The only difference between Recreational and medicinal is you have to pay the government and a doctor to get a med card. The ATF has way too much power and it’s ludicrous marihuana is a schedule 1 substance. I read where a small town in america has the childs toy ” Silly String ” as a controled substance as well.

  5. Dee Dalton on

    Why does nobody talk about the fact that the holy corrupt government has a patent on marijuana and is growing their own, bad wuality weed ?

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