Surveying the damage done to various left-wing causes in the wreckage of the 2016 election, liberals were able to turn to each other and say, “well, at least marijuana did well this year.” On January 1, 2017, it became legal to possess up to an ounce of pot in Nevada, and January 30 was the first day you could legally possess up to 2.5 ounces in Maine. California and Massachusetts have also begun the process of fully legalizing recreational marijuana, joining Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Colorado. With Washington, D.C. in legalization limbo—you can’t sell weed in D.C., but you can give it away—and dozens more states embracing decriminalization and/or medical marijuana, it seemed like the U.S. was on the verge of a stoned new age.
Well, no more. Although the Obama administration made enforcing it a low priority, technically the federal government has the ability to enforce federal laws against marijuana, which it classifies as a Schedule I drug “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse“ on the level of heroin and LSD. (Cocaine and pharmaceutical painkillers are the milder Schedule II, as is meth.) And the Trump administration intends to swing its proverbial dick around on this one, as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a press conference last night.
“I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Reuters quotes him as saying. “Because again there’s a big difference between the medical use…that’s very different than the recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice will be further looking into.” Spicer did not go on to explain how trans kids using the bathroom is a states’ rights issue, but recreational marijuana is not, but we’re going to assume it has something to do with Steve Bannon being sold a bag of oregano back in college.
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut shows that only 23 percent of Americans think the federal government should enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug, a number that will soon correspond to President Trump’s approval ratings if he’s not careful (and come on, we all know he won’t be).