The Trump administration said for the first time that it will crack down on marijuana sales in states that have approved recreational pot use. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the Department of Justice will pursue enforcement of federal law against recreational use, but not medical use. The statement marked a major break with the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to the growing marijuana legalization movement, McClatchy Newspapers reports. The decision will provoke a fight with the states that have legalized recreational marijuana: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington and the District of Columbia.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said this month that “it would be a really big mistake for [Trump] to pick this fight, and I hope it will not occur.” California legalization could translate to an estimated $5 billion in annual retail sales if Trump doesn’t intervene. A cannabis caucus formed in Congress, vowing vowed to fight Trump and protect legalization. Among the co-founders is Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a Trump supporter. Seventy-one percent of voters say the government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana use, says a new Quinnipiac University poll. Fifty nine percent support legalizing recreational marijuana while 93 percent back medical marijuana use.