Donald Trump Signals a Continued Dedication to Enforcing Federal Cannabis Law in Legal Weed States
Trump signed the federal spending bill, which protects the medical marijuana industry, but 45 says he reserves the right to ignore Congress’ new rule.
Published on May 6, 2017

To keep the government operational, Donald Trump signed Congress’ federal funding bill yesterday. By doing so, the President signed into law a provision that prevents Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the rest of the Department of Justice from spending funds to suppress medical marijuana businesses in states that have voted to legalize.

But despite signing off on the budget bill, Trump has already fired back at the pot protection stipulation, claiming his presidential power gives him the authority to supersede the Congressional rule. According to the Hill, Trump released a “signing statement” shortly after passing the legislation suggesting a continued threat of federal cannabis enforcement.

"Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility," his statement reads.

The MMJ protection clause was widely heralded by cannabis industry insiders still on edge from Sessions’ comments earlier this year - when the nation’s top cop compared weed to heroin and threatened a nationwide cannabis crackdown.

Statements like the one Trump released yesterday are not uncommon after the Commander in Chief signs legislation, but the most recent post-script is particularly troubling for the nation’s cannabis industry.

There has been no indication of how or when the feds would try to crack down on legal cannabis, but the newest revelation leaves medical marijuana providers and patients in limbo, with no choice but to wait and see what’s next from Trump, Sessions and the rest of the reefer madness gang working in the White House.

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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