The federal government may soon begin cracking down on recreational marijuana use, even in states where it's legal.
During Friday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the administration expects federal agents to enforce laws against recreational pot.
This marks a reversal from the Obama administration, which chose not to interfere with states like Oregon and Washington that legalized recreational marijuana.
However, Spicer suggested the Department of Justice might make exceptions for medical marijuana used by terminally ill patients.
"That’s very different than the recreational use, which was something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into," Spicer said of medical marijuana.
He also suggested that by not enforcing federal marijuana laws, the administration could be seen as condoning recreational drug use.
In response, supporters of legal marijuana argue that a federal crackdown could create problems because users will simply go back to buying pot off the streets.
Senator Ron Wyden issued a statement in response to Spicer's comments, saying the reversal of policy would waste tax dollars and take away from more serious safety concerns.
"The federal government needs to respect the decisions of Oregon voters. Instead, the Trump Administration is threatening states' rights, including the rights of one in five Americans who live in a state where marijuana is legal," Wyden said. "Wasting taxpayer dollars and burdening our law-enforcement agencies to go after law-abiding recreational marijuana users distracts from going after criminals and threats to our safety.”
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