The White House on Thursday said the president believes that federal law should be enforced regarding marijuana legalization, a significant reversal from his prior stance, which he campaigned on.
During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump said “marijuana and legalization … should be a state issue,” but on Thursday, after it was reported that his administration would roll back Obama-era protections, the White House revealed the president’s stance had changed.
“The president believes in enforcing federal law,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday when asked about the president’s position on leaving states to decide pot’s legality. “And that is regardless of what the topic is: whether it’s marijuana or whether it’s immigration.”
Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to rescind a series of Obama-era policies that enabled legalized marijuana to flourish in certain states across the country.
However, as GOP Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) pointed out in his rebuke of Sessions’ plans on Twitter, the president has, in the past, stated that marijuana’s legalization should be left up to individual states — and Gardner agreed. “@realDonaldTrump had it right. This must be left up to the states,” Gardner tweeted.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018
But Sanders on Thursday argued that “the president’s position hasn’t changed” and that he “strongly believes that we should enforce federal law.”
According to the White House, Sessions’ move “simply gives prosecutors the tools to take on large-scale distributors and enforce federal law.”
Watch the White House’s comments below, via CNN.