The Weed World was shaken on Thursday when a spokesperson for the Trump Administration said he expected to see “greater enforcement” of the nation’s federal drug laws, including recreational marijuana. This is how the Weed World responded:

 

  • Aaron Smith, executive director, National Cannabis Industry Association - “It would be a mistake of the Department of Justice to overthrow the will of the voters and state governments.”
  • Beth Collins, director of legislative affairs, Americans for Safer Access - “The problem is, under federal law, [Sessions] would be operating legally … In a federal Court he would not be using States’ rights; you can’t use the defense that ‘I’m a medical patient in my state.” 
  • Mason Tvert, communications director, Marijuana Policy Project - “This administration is claiming that it values states’ rights, so we hope they will respect the rights of states to determine their own marijuana policies. It is hard to imagine why anyone would want marijuana to be produced and sold by cartels and criminals rather than tightly regulated, taxpaying businesses. Mr. Spicer says there is a difference between medical and recreational marijuana, but the benefits of and need for regulation apply equal to both.”
  • Brian Vincente, partner, Vicente Cederberg, LLC - “You have 28 states with medical marijuana. Eight states with legalization, there is a lot of government bureaucracy that is supportive of marijuana legalization. Our states generates about $200 million dollars a year in tax revenue. So there’s a lot of entrenched interests and I could see this being a tough battle for Sessions to take on.”
  • Aaron Ford, Nevada State Senate Majority Leader - “Not only did voters overwhelmingly vote to approve the legalization of recreational marijuana, the Governor’s proposed education budget depends on tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales. Any action by the Trump administration would be an insult to Nevada voters and would pick the pockets of Nevada’s students.”
  • Christie Strong, marketing manager, Kiva Confections - “Over 60 percent of Americans support cannabis legalization. It is one of the few bipartisan issues that actually has the potential to unite us right now. Our country and many of our citizens are still recovering from the devastation of a failed Drug War. It would be a crime to waste any more resources prohibiting adult access to this safe, effective medicine.”
  • Henry Wykowski, prominent San Francisco cannabis attorney - “This is a very concerning statement because I think that we’re receiving hints as to how they’re going to decide what their position on cannabis is going to be, and they’ve now confirmed that they’re going to look at medical and adult use differently.”
  • Steve Gormley, CEO, Seventh Point, LLC - “Sean Spicer’s comments on recreational marijuana seem to be a disturbing departure from Trump’s purported position on states’ rights. We will have to see how this plays out. I suspect this issue will end up being litigated at the Supreme Court. Let’s not forget, however, this is the same guy who falsely reported on the attendance at the inauguration.”
  • Jim Mullen, owner, The Herbery - “I don’t think enforcement meant shutting (the industry) down, I think people are reading into it. And that’s common. It’s a new industry, it’s a big industry and it’s a popular industry. From what I’ve heard and read, people are making speculations that are completely inaccurate and out of context.”
  • Jeffrey Zucker, president of Green Lion Partners - “The comments from secretary Spicer are ignorant and disappointing, although not unexpected. The cannabis industry will fight any pressure from the federal government to set back the significant progress that’s been made thus far. The incredibly positive medical, social and economic impact cannabis legalization has had on regulated states is undeniable. Singling out the adult-use market is shortsighted. Perhaps most importantly, it's ignoring the will of the people, which national polls now show are in favor of full legalization. Offering safe and regulated cannabis serves to eliminate the illegitimate market and racial disparity in enforcement. I hope that the administration takes the time to truly immerse and educate themselves on cannabis before making any destructive decision.”
  • Danny Davis, managing partner, Convection - “We are hopeful that Mr. Spicer’s comments are not representative of the entire administration. Many of the states that helped elect President Trump just voted to also support recreational marijuana. It is hard to imagine that he would push an agenda with the support ratings where they are. As an equipment company, we represent both the recreational and medicinal markets, but we would hate to see action that would stop the current multi-state momentum for recreational.”