The tension over national marijuana policy got a little hotter on Thursday when Washington Gov. Jay Inslee took a swipe at the Trump administration over legal marijuana.
One day after the Senate confirmed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Inslee threw down the gauntlet over the issue.
“Of the five or six fights they want to pick today, or any day, this is not the one they want to have,” Inslee said at a press conference. “They would be on the wrong side of history.”
The governor’s cannabis comments came after a full-throated defense of the state’s position regarding immigration. Washington was the first state to challenge President Trump’s executive order barring immigrants from seven Muslim nations.
After his immigration remarks, Inslee warned the federal government to keep its hands off the state’s legal marijuana laws. He said the state will try present the federal government with evidence of the program’s success.
Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana in November 2012.
“Resistance is not futile,” Inslee said. “It is both necessary and productive and we will demonstrate that resistance everywhere, every way, every time we think that our interests our jeopardized.”
In the past, Sessions has made comments expressing his disfavor of legalization and cannabis use in general. But it is n0t clear what direction the Trump administration will go on the widely popular issue. Washington voters approved legalization handily, with 55.7 voting in favor and 44.3 voting against.
Nationally, support for marijuana legalization has never been higher. Last year, a Gallup Poll revealed that 60 percent of Americans want the plant legal.
“It would be political suicide for the Trump Administration to go against a campaign promise on a hugely popular issue that won even among their demographic,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of the ArcView, a cannabis research firm.