President Donald Trump signaled he may ignore a congressional ban on interfering with state medical marijuana laws, arguing in a lengthy statement that he isn’t legally bound by a series of limits lawmakers imposed on him.
Trump issued the “signing statement” Friday after he signed a measure funding the government for the remainder of the federal fiscal year, reprising a controversial tactic former president George W. Bush and Barack Obama used while in office.
Trump also suggested he may ignore gender and racial preferences in some government programs as well as congressional requirements for advance notice before taking a range of foreign policy and military actions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to crack down on marijuana and has dismissed arguments for its medical use as “desperate.”
“I reject the idea that we’re going to be better placed if we have more marijuana,” Sessions said in a speech to law-enforcement officials in March. “It’s not a healthy substance, particularly for young people.”
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico now allow for medical marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Trump argued in the statement that his constitutional prerogatives supersede the restrictions Congress placed on him as a condition for funding government operations.