Maine police are waiting for clarity around a signal from the Trump administration that it may crack down on states that legalized recreational use of marijuana before commenting on what it could mean for Maine.
In a news briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects states to be subject to “greater enforcement” of federal laws against marijuana use. President Trump sees “a big difference” between the use of marijuana for medical purposes and for recreational purposes, Spicer said. But he said that states’ allowance of marijuana for recreational purposes “is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into.”
As of Friday evening, the Justice Department had declined to comment on Spicer’s remarks.
In November, Maine voters narrowly approved legalizing recreational marijuana. Adults over age 21 can now legally possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use, and the state and local authorities are developing regulations for retail sales. It’s not clear what effect a federal policy change would have in Maine.
Robert Schwartz, executive director of the Maine Chiefs of Police Association, said the organization would not comment until a change of policy was announced. The chief’s association fiercely opposed legalizing recreational marijuana in Maine, because of concerns it could expose children to the drug and increase the numbers of impaired drivers in the state.
In the wake of the vote, the association said it would work with lawmakers to make the recreational marijuana law better,