Republicans oppose state-legal weed clampdown

October 8, 2022 · Politico

Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state legalization backed by voters, a poll found.

Republicans don’t want the federal government to crack down on state-legal weed markets.

Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state medical or adult-use legalization backed by voters and instead should remove any obstacles facing those markets, according to a new national poll commissioned by the industry group National Cannabis Roundtable.

Just 17 percent of respondents disagreed that the federal government should take a hands-off approach to state-legal markets, while 7 percent offered no opinion on the issue.

Similarly, the poll found that 73 percent of respondents believe businesses operating in state-legal markets should have the same rights as other legal businesses, while 21 percent disagreed with that statement.

“The perceived notion that Republican voters are hostile to cannabis is wrong,” Tony Fabrizio, whose firm Fabrizio, Lee & Associates conducted the poll, said in an interview. “In fact, these Republican voters believe that if it’s legal in a state, then … the feds should get out of the way and let the state handle it.”

Key context: During the Obama administration, the Justice Department enacted the Cole Memo, which advised prosecutors not to prioritize enforcing federal marijuana offenses in states with legal, regulated markets.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions repealed that memo during the Trump administration, but there was no resulting crackdown on state-legal markets. There’s been no similar guidance issued by the Biden administration, but Attorney General Merrick Garland has indicated that going after state-legal markets would be a poor use of agency resources.

In addition, since 2015, Congress has enacted appropriations riders prohibiting the Justice Department from spending funds to crack down on state medical marijuana markets. Full Story

In categories:Legal Politics
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