With Senator Jeff “Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana” Sessions poised as Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General, you’d be forgiven for fearing a crackdown on the eight states that legalized recreational marijuana during the Obama administration. Is an antiweed gestapo headed to Seattle?
Probably not, says city attorney Pete Holmes. While he thinks sustained legalization is under no circumstances a guarantee, the current GOP—transitioning from campaign rhetoric to actual legislation—would “catch a lot of flak by going after a democratic process on the state level,” especially a program like Washington State’s I-502, which underwent a lengthy and careful rollout process. In other words, if the feds want to pick a fight, they likely won’t swing at Washington first.
But if the scenario does come to pass, marijuana advocate Philip Dawdy doesn’t expect the government to start kicking down pot shop doors. Instead, the Trump administration might target Washington state financial institutions working with shops and growers. “And that’s when things get dangerous,” he warns, since the U.S. Treasury putting a freeze on the already-complicated relationships with state banks “will force many businesses to carry and transport huge sums of cash on their own. And that’s just asking for trouble.”
Chances are, Uncle Sam won’t be coming for your stash during Trump’s first 100 days. But the local cannabis industry is, like much of the country, holding its breath. “Put it this way,” says Dawdy. “Shop owners aren’t going out and buying new cars anytime soon.”