The Trump administration has suddenly liberated an anti-marijuana position, threatening to enforce federal power over states that have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana use. Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a statement in which he recalls the illegality of the drug under federal law.
Oregon, one of the most recent of the six states to legalize the sale and consumption of recreational marijuana, is particularly threatened by the prospect of the federal government interfering with its current marijuana policies. Oregon’s economy has begun to depend on the recreational marijuana industry, considering the 19,000 jobs the industry has created. Disruption to its current laws would put people out of work.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkeley argued that the Trump administration’s proposed decision would also force recreational marijuana use back to the black market, where the consumption and sale of the drug is more dangerous.
Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General, spoke for the state when she stated that it is “an industry that Oregonians have chosen.” Oregon politicians were passionate about maintaining the state’s current legality of recreational marijuana and relaxed stance on the issue, denouncing the administration for its threat.
It is uncertain at this point whether or not the federal government will end up enforcing its recreational marijuana laws in Oregon, and across the nation.