Trump Says He Reserves Right to Ignore Medical Marijuana Protection Provision in Spending Bill
“I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” Trump said in the signing statement.
By Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
BRANCHBURG, N.J. — President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation on Friday, a $1 trillion spending bill to keep the government operating through September.
The bill cleared both houses of Congress this week and Trump signed it into law behind closed doors at his home in central New Jersey, well ahead of a midnight Friday deadline for some government operations to begin shutting down.
Trump signed the bill despite his objections to numerous provisions included in the measure. One such provision prohibits the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories. In a signing statement that accompanied the bill and that laid out his objections, Trump said he reserved the right to ignore the provision. He held out the possibility that the administration could pursue legal action against states and territories that legalize marijuana for medical use.
Marijuana remains illegal for any purpose under federal law. The White House previously signaled a looming crackdown on recreational pot use.
“I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” Trump said in the signing statement, a tool that previous presidents have used to explain their positions on appropriations bills.
Trump also objects to provision governing the transfer of prisoners held at a U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the White House said his objection should not be seen as a shift in policy, but as a statement of his view that the provision could conflict with his constitutional authority and duties in some circumstances.
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Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor in Washington contributed to this report.
Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap
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