A representative for the Alaska attorney general’s office said a change in how the federal government enforces its own marijuana laws would not affect state marijuana laws.
Alaska’s law legalizing recreational marijuana wouldn’t be overturned, Department of Law spokeswoman Cori Mills said Thursday after White House spokesman Sean Spicer suggested during a press briefing that President Donald Trump’s administration might crack down on states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Alaska is one of eight states, along with the District of Columbia, that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
“The federal law is one thing and the state has the right to enact laws in this area and those are perfectly constitutional,” Mills said. “Our law wouldn’t be overturned. But there is a different federal law, and how they want to enforce the federal law is up to the federal government. We’ll just wait and see what sort of actions they take.”
Cary Carrigan, executive director of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, said it’s too early to get too worked up about Spicer’s comments. He said this sounds like an initial overture.
“But you have to see something happen before you can really react to it,” he said.
A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives from states where marijuana is legal, said the White House spokesman’s statements reaffirms the need for their newly formed group, called the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.
“We hope today’s comments do not reflect the views of the president and his administration,” said the statement from Reps. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.; Jared Polis, D-Colo., Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Don Young, R-Alaska.
“We stand ready to educate this administration on the need for more sensible marijuana policies and share the many experiences states have had with the legalization of cannabis,” the four co-chairs said.
“Together, we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to reform our