National Cannabis Industry Association executive director Aaron Smith issued the following statement in response to Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s comments regarding the Trump Administration’s marijuana policy in the press briefing today:
“It would be a mistake for the Department of Justice to overthrow the will of the voters and state governments who have created carefully regulated adult-use marijuana programs. It would represent a rejection of the values of economic growth, limited government, and respect for federalism that Republicans claim to embrace.
“These programs are working. Marijuana interdictions at the Mexican border are down substantially, youth use has not increased in states with legal access to cannabis, and responsible cannabis businesses are contributing tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact to their communities.
“The American people overwhelmingly support this approach. National polls show that 60% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal for adult use. Furthermore, 71% of Americans – including majorities in both parties and every age group – oppose the federal government cracking down on these voter-supported programs.
“It was especially disappointing to hear Press Secretary Spicer refer to the opioid crisis in relation to marijuana. Science has discredited the idea that marijuana serves as any kind of gateway drug, and the addiction and death rates associated with opioids simply do not occur in any way with cannabis. In fact, scientific research increasingly shows that access to cannabis significantly decreases rates of opioid addiction and death.
“As a candidate, President Trump said on many occasions that he believed marijuana policy – both medical and adult-use – should be left to the states. When asked if he would allow his Attorney General to shut down adult-use programs like Colorado’s, he said, ‘I wouldn’t do it – no…I think it should be up to the states, absolutely.’
“Voters agree, and that should guide the administration’s policy.”