Negative rhetoric coming from the Trump administration on marijuana is causing concern among smokers, who fear Attorney General Jeff Sessions may upend the industry.
A new poll surveying adult cannabis users throughout the U.S. found there is widespread concern the Department of Justice (DOJ) will orchestrate some type of crackdown on state legalization laws. The poll conducted by VMR Products, pioneers in the global vapor technology industry, found 40 percent of current smokers expect negative impacts to the industry and legislative efforts under the Trump administration. Among active marijuana users, 40 percent identified themselves as Democrats, 32 percent as Republicans and 24 percent independents.
A majority of those polled strongly disagreed with the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug alongside narcotics and feel the policy does not make sense given the legality of alcohol and tobacco. Roughly 70 percent of users support national legalization and federal regulation of the substance.
“Our survey found that most cannabis users feel that if alcohol and tobacco can be effectively regulated on a national level, then marijuana should be included among that list as well,” Jan Verleur, CEO and co-founder of VMR, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “As our findings have shown, a majority of people feel that Sessions’ recent comments about the marijuana industry indicate a stance that could potentially hinder further legislative progress in the U.S.”
Sessions, a staunch opponent of legalization, is currently reviewing the Cole Memorandum, a set of guidelines established in 2013 that direct the Department of Justice to focus marijuana enforcement efforts on violent crimes and distribution in states without legalization laws.
“We’re seeing real violence around that,” Sessions said Feb. 27. “Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly spoke in harsh terms on marijuana Tuesday, calling it a “dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs.” He also added that combating marijuana will play a part in their efforts to curb illegal immigration.
Marijuana advocates likely won’t know the true intentions of the Justice Department regarding legal pot until July when the task force reviewing the department’s policy will give Sessions recommendations on how to proceed.
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