States Will Put Up A Fight To Preserve Multi-Billion Dollar Cannabis Industry
No sooner had California cannabis stores legally opened throughout the state than Attorney General Jeff Sessions nipped it in the bud.
He announced that the Trump Administration will rescind the Obama administration’s policy that allowed legal marijuana to flourish without federal intervention.
Sessions’ new policy authorizes U.S. attorneys to decide how to proceed with this in their jurisdictions, which opens the door to more enforcement than has been in practice over the past few years from the federal level.
Colorado, California and several other states have enacted laws that range from decriminalizing marijuana to openly authorizing it for recreational use. However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
States where it’s legal under its law are digging in for a fight.
“Have no doubt,” California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted. “California will pursue all options to protect our reforms and rights.”
All this sends confusing messages to users and the shops that sell cannabis legally – or legal by their state’s law. For example:
• Will these shops remain open and if so, for how long>
• Are the stories subject to raids by government officials?
• If a person is in the store to make a purchase during a government raid, can/will they be arrested?
• Will the government come down on individuals who purchase and use pot?
Right now, nobody knows, and it sure makes things confusing for users, but especially for state, growers and shops. It’s hardly conceivable the government would devote a lot of money or resources to truly crack down on the shops when so many other issues – including airport and homeland security at at the top of the nation’s concerns – but there could be some “messages” sent to states and/or growers and shops.
Then again, this may simply be an idle threat to create a perceived crackdown to discourage more states from legalizing cannabis, growers to grow it, shops to open and people to use pot.
Six states have legalized recreational use of marijuana: California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado and Alaska and it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.