States that have passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana in recent years appear to have found some new, unexpected supporters: Republican politicians.
Since voters began to pass recreational marijuana measures in 2012, the pro-pot movement has seen swift support from many Democrats, with Republicans often pushing back against legalization. Those expressing concern or opposition have cited, among other things, the potential for pot to be a gateway drug, and they have regularly sided with law enforcement, which has established a unified front against recreational marijuana.
But a recent mix of public opinion, an influx in tax revenue and questions surrounding states’ rights has in part led to a shift in rhetoric and legislative proposals.
President Donald Trump last week spurned a threat by his Justice Department to crack down on recreational marijuana in states where it is legal, easing concerns about the possibility of raids and prosecution.
Trump’s directive Friday came in response to concerns from Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo. Since January, Gardner has criticized an announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he would rescind an Obama-era policy that directed