WH expects DOJ crackdown on legal pot

Sean Spicer

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration’s strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal.

“I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said in response to a question during a news conference. But he offered no details about what such enforcement would entail.

A renewed focus on recreational marijuana in states that have legalized pot would present a departure from the Trump administration’s statements in favor of states’ rights. A day earlier, the administration announced that the issue of transgender student bathroom access was best left to states and local communities to decide.

Eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Spicer’s comments came the same day as a Quinnipiac poll said 59 percent of Americans think marijuana should be legal and 71 percent would oppose a federal crackdown.

In Washington state, sales at licensed pot shops now average nearly $4.4 million per day — with little evidence of any negative societal effects. That’s close to $1 billion in sales so far for the fiscal year that began last July, some $184 million of which is state tax revenue.