It was shaping up to be a pretty fun week in weed—a new drive-thru pot shop being proposed in Colorado, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg dropping pot references on national television ... you know, feel-good stuff. Then along comes the announcement that the Trump administration now has legal weed in their cross hairs, harshing all of the mellows. This latest news trumps (sorry) everything else for now as the cannabis industry braces for the impact of what’s ahead, so we’ll just start there.
Trump’s War on Weed has Begun
The news broke yesterday when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer promised there will be "greater enforcement" by the Department of Justice against recreational weed. During the press conference, Spicer made a distinction between medical and recreational marijuana:
"The president understands the pain and suffering that many people go through who are facing especially terminal diseases and the comfort that some of these drugs, including medical marijuana, can bring to them. But, there’s a big difference between that and recreational marijuana. And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people."
However, Spicer’s attempt to connect marijuana use to opioid abuse is wrong: evidence supports that there is no link between the two, and in fact, psychedelic drug use can even reduce the use of opioid dependence.
In line with the giant middle finger Washington State has been giving to the Trump administration’s executive orders so far, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the state will resist any federal crackdowns on cannabis.
Responses from the cannabis industry so far have ranged from anger, to ranting, to shoulder-shrugging, but mostly just speculation about what an attack on recreational marijuana—now legal in eight states and a $7.2 billion-dollar market—will look like.
Many are skeptical: As The Fresh Toast founder and Seattle cannabis entrepreneur JJ McKay said in a recent interview with Geekwire, "I think the administration is going to push DOJ for clarification regarding what they ‘have’ to do. With the governors of Washington, Oregon, and California having said they are going to protect their state marijuana laws, it will be hard for them to engage local enforcements to clamp down on the industry."
Would the Trump administration change their mind about cracking down on legalized marijuana if they knew the industry would create 250,000 jobs by (election year) 2020? That’s more jobs than the expected gains in manufacturing, utilities and government jobs put together, according to a recent study by New Frontier Data.
Massive Marijuana Operation Discovered in Nuclear Bunker
It’s being called ‘Stonerhenge’—in one of the “largest crops ever discovered,” a massive abandoned nuclear bunker in England was being used for years to grow thousands of marijuana plants. While in theory it sounds like a perfectly badass, Mad Max-inspired way to use a nuclear bunker, as Gizmodo points out, there was a dark side: three of the men arrested were reportedly undocumented immigrants who were trafficked into cultivating the plants in the bunker.
Smuggling of Nukes across the Border in Marijuana Bales Could Also Be a Thing...
...according to Arizona Republican representative Trent Franks, who is very worried about the “porous border’ between the US and Mexico. Specifically, as he told CNN, he’s concerned about smugglers bringing in nuclear weapons concealed in weed if the $25 billion-dollar border wall doesn’t get built:
"We sometimes used to make the point that if someone wanted to smuggle in a dangerous weapon, even a nuclear weapon, into America, how would they do it? And the suggestion was made, ‘Well, we'll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana.’"
Weed—you put your nukes in there! So simple. Works every time.
Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart's Pot Hints Piss Off Parents
Meanwhile during all this hullabaloo, Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg are over here just trying to have some chill. The queen of crafts and former Murder Inc rapper have recently come under fire by a group called Parents Opposed to Pot for their oblique reefer references in a commercial for T-Mobile, which aired during the Superbowl:
Can o’ bisque? We’ll take two!
Colorado May Open a Drive-Thru Weed Store
Finally, a marijuana store and former carwash in Colorado will become the nation’s first drive-thru marijuana dispensary. Can buying weed legally get any more convenient? What’s next? Drone delivery, obvi!