Last Month, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer Said The Justice Departmentwould Not Use Federal Laws To Prosecutemedical Marijuana Users, In Part Because Congress Has Already Banned It From Doing So.

A marijuana user smokes a joint of Colorado-legal cannabis (Photo: Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY) In states with licensed cannabis stores, its easy to forget those businesses sella plant that remains an illegalSchedule 1 controlled substance under federal law. Federal prosecutors, if they chose, could easily arresttens of thousands of people who have state licenses to grow and sell the drug, or even anyone walking out of a pot shop with a purchase. But they havent. Trumps administration may take a different tack, but so far, it has delivered conflicting messages. Last month, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Justice Departmentwould not use federal marijuana laws to prosecutemedical marijuana users, in part because Congress has already banned it from doing so. But he drewa distinction between medical and recreational use. I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana use, he said. Then, in thesame press conference, he suggested the matter wasnt settled and referred reporters to the Justice Department for comment. Shortly after, Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a speech seemed to suggest thered be stricter enforcement in states with recreational marijuana. Members of Congress, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,and Cory Gardner, R-Colo.,say Sessions has reassured them privately that isnot the case.

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