The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) pushed back against President Donald Trump’s apparent anti-marijuana threats on Thursday. The NCIA, who’s mission is to promote a legal and responsible cannabis industry, challenged the belief that marijuana regulation should be a Federal issue.
As reported by Vox, speaking on behalf of the President, Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated on Thursday:
“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 , put an appropriations bill saying that the Department of Justice 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 we should be doing is encouraging people. There’s still a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.”
In response, the NCIA issued a press release that reminded the Trump administration of marijuana promises made during the campaign:
“As a candidate, President Trump said on many occasions that he believed marijuana policy – both medical and adult-use – should be left to the states. When asked if he would allow his Attorney General to shut down adult-use programs like Colorado’s, he said, ‘I wouldn’t do it – no…I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.'”
“Voters agree, and that should guide the administration’s policy.”
The Trump administration’s new plans to crack down on the marijuana industry are contradictory to the United States changing views on an increasingly legal medical and recreational drug. As reported in Society’s Changing Views of Cannabis, there is growing support for legalization, especially among younger Americans, with 70 percent of 18 to 29-year-old Americans supporting legalization. There are now eight states, plus the District of Columbia, where recreational marijuana use is legal.
Smith also conveyed that the current laws supporting the adult right to use marijuana are working.
“It would be a mistake for the Department of Justice to overthrow the will of the voters and state governments who have created carefully regulated adult-use marijuana programs. It would represent a rejection of the values of economic growth, limited government, and respect for federalism that Republicans claim to embrace.”
“These programs are working. Marijuana interdictions at the Mexican border are down substantially, youth use has not increased in states with legal access to cannabis, and responsible cannabis businesses are contributing tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact to their communities.”
In the same week, as NCIA pointed out the Trump administration’s contradictory application of Federal regulations, President Trump also revoked Obama’s protections for transgender students. As Politico reported, Spicer explained why transgender protections are a state’s rights issue.
“The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government. So while we have further guidance coming out on this, I think that all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time, that this is not something the federal government should be involved in, that this is a states’ rights issue.”
As the NCIA works to bring economic growth throughout the cannabis industry, the issue may not be decided on whether legalized marijuana is popular or can be successfully regulated. The fight may be whether the Trump administration has the authority to enact Federal laws on some controversial issues while leaving others for States to decide.
[Featured Image by alactr/iStock]