Recreational marijuana seemed like an all-but-certain prospect just a few months ago. Certainly in California, the results of the November election helped to solidify the where its future would lie in The Golden State. But that same day came the unexpected election of Donald J. Trump, which in turn has meant uncertainty for the future of legal marijuana.
We do know the American public overwhelmingly supports legalizing recreational marijuana, and many lawmakers are eyeing it as a way to rake in millions of dollars in taxes that can be used for the greater good. As of today, we have a total of eight states – including California – that have legalized cannabis for recreational use. There was hope when Trump took office that, at the very least, Obama’s “hands-off” policy would continue, given Trump’s stated support for state’s rights. But then, he appointed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to the post of U.S. Attorney General. Sessions has long been a vocal critic of recreational marijuana. On top of that, some in the Trump administration have warned that legal recreational marijuana could be the target of federal enforcement action, as the drug still remains outlawed under federal statutes.
All of this has left us with a great deal of uncertainty moving forward. It’s really not clear to marijuana businesses or even our marijuana lawyers what move the federal government and legislators may take next. While Republicans tend to be less favorable toward recreational marijuana on the whole, the issue is not split solely down party lines and a lot of Republicans support it. Continue reading