At the White House briefing, Feb. 23, press secretary Sean Spicer responded to questions about the Trump administration’s stance on enforcement of federal marijuana restrictions. (Reuters)
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that he expects states to be subject to “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use, a move that could undercut the growing number of jurisdictions moving to legalize the drug for recreational purposes.
Spicer, speaking at a White House press briefing, said that President Trump sees “a big difference” between use of marijuana for medical purposes and for recreational purposes.
“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,” Spicer told reporters.
Spicer said that state’s allowance of marijuana for recreational purposes “ is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into.”
The Department of Justice declined to comment on Spicer’s remarks on Thursday afternoon following the briefing.
As of the beginning of the year, seven states and the District had adopted laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
In 2013 — as states took up the issue of legalizing marijuana — then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole issued a memo reiterating that the Justice Department would continue to enforce federal drug laws.
But Cole said that…