Recreational Cannabis Industry Reacts to White House Comments
Published February 27, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s recent comments regarding the potential federal crackdown on recreational cannabis have sparked outrage throughout the cannabis industry. From industry influencers to state legislators, everyone has commented on this situation stating various positions from defensive to, “we’re not-that-concerned.” However, probably the most upset group of stakeholders is the citizens themselves, who have already made their position known by voting for recreational cannabis in their respective states. State officials have heard this outcry and are among the first to make public cautions to the White House, starting with Washington State’s Attorney General, Robert Ferguson, saying, “We will resist any efforts to thwart the will of the voters in Washington.”
Since then, several other prominent state legislators have also made their stance known:
“While there has been no formal policy or guidance issued on marijuana changes, the voters of Massachusetts have spoken on this issue and the administration will continue to work with lawmakers, educators, public safety and public health professionals to move forward with the new law.” – Lizzy Guyton, Communications Director for Governor Charles Baker
“Any action by the Trump administration would be an insult to Nevada voters and would pick the pockets of Nevada’s students.” – Nevada Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas
“The national prohibition of cannabis has been a failure, and millions of voters across the country have demanded a more sensible approach. I’m looking forward to working with the leadership of our newly formed cannabis caucus to ensure that Oregonian’s wishes are protected and that we end the failed prohibition on marijuana.” – U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Portland
“I urge you and your administration to work in partnership with California and the other … states that have legalized recreational marijuana for adult use in a way that will let us enforce our state laws that protect the public and our children, while targeting the bad actors” – CA Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome
“The voters of Massachusetts have spoken on this issue and the administration will continue to work with lawmakers, educators, public safety and public health professionals to move forward with the new law.” – Lizzy Guyton, Communications Director for Governor Charles Baker
“The public has spoken on recreational marijuana, we’ve seen it work in Colorado, and now is the time to lift the federal prohibition.” – Jared Polis, D Colorado
The key takeaway is that the industry does not want to fight; they want to educate, find common ground, and make progress.
Granted, Spicer’s comments are cause for concern, but until the White House makes its position official the cannabis industry should take a moment to appreciate the unification of state leaders, and the industry, behind a common cause. Of the 8 states that allow for recreational cannabis use, all 8 have made their position clear- their constituents voted, and they plan to back the voters. If the White House does truly intend to move against state-backed cannabis laws, it could be in for quite the confrontation.
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