Colorado’s governor was forced on Monday to issue a statement in which he condemned President Trump’s attempts to squash the legalized marijuana industry.
Colorado is one of eight states that allow for recreational marijuana use. More than half of all US states allows for the use of medical marijuana.
The White House last week indicated may increase enforcement efforts aimed at federal laws that ban pot.
The Obama administration was more lenient on federal laws, refusing to crack down on states with legal recreational pot.
CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen says the Trump administration has been sending different signals to journalists.
The legalized marijuana industry has been a boom for Colorado. The state is already collecting more than $1.3 billion in annual sales of legal pot.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer hinted at a crackdown on the industry.
“Is the federal government then going to take some sort of action around this recreational marijuana in some of these states?” a reporter asked.
“I think that’s a question for the Department of Justice. I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer responded.
Spicer did note that Trump supports marijuana use for medicinal purposes.
A poll this month found that 71% of respondents did not want the government to enforce federal laws that banned recreational marijuana use. Those same respondents were also strongly in support of medical marijuana use.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper opposed the states legalized marijuana law but now says he will not provide state police officers to assist in any federal crackdowns.
“If the Justice Department does aggressively begin to prosecute and try to enforce federal law in states like Colorado, where it’s in our constitution, I think that is a step backwards,” Hickenlooper said.
What's Your Reaction?
James Kosur is the former Editor-In-Chief and co-founder of Hill Reporter. He recently served as an editor for Business Insider and various other publications. James and his partners sold Hill Reporter to a new owner in July 2019.