Column: White House orders increased marijuana enforcement
The White House is asking for the DEA to increase marijuana enforcement in legal states.
The Trump administration is looking to backpedal on yet another campaign promise. People may not remember Trump saying this one verbatim, but it was implied throughout his campaign.
Sean Spicer said that recreational marijuana will receive “greater enforcement” by federal agents last Thursday during his daily briefing. Even in states where the plant is legal for recreational use, the Trump Administration promised to crack down due to the recent opioid crisis.
“There’s a big difference between [medical marijuana] and recreational marijuana, and I think 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,” Spicer said during his daily briefing, per a New York Times article.
RELATED: Patients before profit
The use of “medical opioids” has caused the addiction epidemic in the United States. The fact is, however, opioids are addictive while marijuana is not leaving people in cold shivers when they find themselves without their favorite inebriation.
“There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature,” Spicer said, according to the Times.
Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in eight states, though the federal law remains unchanged on it’s stance and keeps marijuana classed in the same group as heroin, meth and cocaine. As most people would agree, one is not like the others in this grouping.
Yes, heroin is an opioid and helps with pain, and yes, cocaine helps with altitude sickness, but I am not here to speak for all the good qualities in everything. Marijuana has proven to help people on a higher level than just sickness and pain; it can help cancer patients and stop children from having seizures. Marijuana is a proven medicine, and because of this, 28 states have been able to overlook the social stigma attached to the herb.
Among the legal recreational drugs—tobacco and alcohol—marijuana alone possesses medical properties and has no proven long-term effects on well being. Tobacco has caused an average 480,000 deaths a year in the U.S., and alcohol has killed a far-fewer 88,000 annually. Marijuana has killed all of zero people by way of overdose.
The Trump Administration’s disrespect for states’ rights comes as no surprise seeing Trump’s actions since the election.
“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Donald Trump said in 2015 on campaign in Nevada. Since then, the tone has obviously changed on Mr. Trump’s part.
Breaking promises or altering them has been part of Trump’s presidency since day one in office. Donald Trump, especially, should have respect for states’ rights. He is a man who won because of the Electoral College; if we judged things based off popular vote, right now we would be receiving CNN alerts about President Hillary Clinton.
Trump, a man who said he would create jobs, is now indirectly destroying jobs in the fast-growing marijuana industry.
“Now either the president is flip-flopping or his staff is, once again, speaking out of turn. Either way, these comments leave doubt and uncertainty for the marijuana industry, stifling job growth in my state.” said U.S. Rep. Jared Polis from Boulder, Colorado.
Colorado, which was the first state to legalize marijuana, reported $1.3 billion in medical and recreational sales in 2016. The industry is projected to reach $24.5 billion in 2025 if Trump does not thwart the plan by sticking his nose into the rights he seemed to support during his campaign.
The reason Trump’s administration is taking such a hard line on the Cannabis industry is uncertain. Trump might just be angry that he does not have his own strain and is not cashing in on the profits, though I feel Leafs by Snoop and Willie’s Reserve sound far more appealing than the inevitably failing Trump’s Golden Nugs. An even more believable reason for Trump taking such a stance could be that he is taking away the people’s attention from something even more scandalous than going back on his promises.
Follow Chuck Valadez on Twitter.