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White House hints at enforcing federal marijuana law in all states; compares weed to opioid crisis

Posted: 2:09 PM, Feb 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-23 16:54:24-05
White House hints at enforcing federal marijuana law in all states

During his daily news briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the federal government will conduct "greater enforcement" of a federal drug law prohibiting possession of marijuana, despite a number of states that have legalized the drug for recreational use.

While marijuana has remained a banned substance under federal law, eight states have approved recreational marijuana use. But those laws only protect citizens from prosecution from state and local officials. 

In 2013, Barack Obama ordered federal law enforcement not to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that approved legalized weed. 

However, it appears the Trump administration is taking a difference approach. 

"There is a big difference between (medical marijuana) and recreational marijuana," Spicer said. "When you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people. There is still a federal law we have to abide by."

It appears Spicer's comments would also have the backing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

Sessions is on record in the past saying that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and that “marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized” and that it is “a very real danger.”