Weed killer?: America’s pot industry shrugs off Donald Trump’s harder line on legal drugs
- Last month his press secretary, Sean Spicer, said he expected to see “greater enforcement” of the laws that still ban cannabis at the federal level.
- In 2013 the deputy attorney-general of the day, James Cole, published a memo reassuring states that had legalised cannabis that federal agents would not interfere unless the states allowed the industry to cross certain red lines, such as selling to minors, funding crime or leaking their product into jurisdictions that had not chosen to legalise.
- Medical marijuana, which accounts for the bulk of the industry, is expressly protected by a federal law that bans federal agents from interfering in states where it is legal.
- Mr Trump backs medical cannabis “100%”, as do most Americans.
- For now the main impact of Mr Trump’s harder line may be to make entrepreneurs stick extra-carefully to state regulations, rather than “pushing the boundaries” of the law, says Sam Kamin, a professor of marijuana law and policy at the University of Denver.
THESE are high times for America’s marijuana-industrial complex. More than half the country’s states have legalised medical cannabis, often rather loosely defined. Eight have voted to legalise the drug for recreational purposes.
@TheEconomist: America’s marijuana industry was worth about $6bn last year
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