The director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy suggests the next U.S. attorney general may take a dim view of state laws that have legalized marijuana for recreational as well as medical use.
Steve Lukan says President-elect Trump’s selection of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement official has sparked conversation.
“There’s word going around that they may be reviewing some of these state marijuana programs — legalization efforts, etc.; medical marijuana programs,” Lukan says. “As you know, many of these things have been done actually in contrast to federal law.”
Iowa law allows patients with chronic epilepsy or their caregivers to possess cannabis oil without fear of being prosecuted in Iowa. But cannabis — also known as marijuana — is illegal under federal law. While the Obama Administration has chosen not to enforce the law, the Trump Administration may start cracking down, according to Lukan.
“The next administration may take a harder look at some of these laws, may have different priorities for enforcement, for example,” Lukan says. “I do know that some of the names that have been mentioned for DEA administrators, for example, are very strong anti-drug leaders.”
Jeff Sessions, Trump’s choice for attorney general, said in April that it’s time for “grown ups” to be in charge in Washington and say marijuana “is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”
Twenty-eight states have moved to legalize marijuana for medical use. Earlier this month, voters in four states approved ballot measures that legalized marijuana for recreational use. It means eight U.S. states now have moved to decriminalize marijuana.