The Trump administration’s stance, as directed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, came even as cannabis advocates made inroads across several states. New Jersey is widely expected to legalize cannabis for adult use by the end of the year. State lawmakers in Pennsylvania and New York have kicked off efforts to put recreational use on the books as well. In Connecticut, a recreational use bill made it out of committee for the first time in April.
In even in far more conservative states, even ardent opponents are increasingly willing to take a look when it comes to medicinal use. In Kentucky, Nemes — a member of the state’s House of Representatives — had his own epiphany. “Last year, I was against it. But I met with some constituents and heard, 'hey, maybe I’m wrong,'" Nemes told POLITICO, describing how he became the main sponsor of a medical cannabis bill that stalled in Kentucky’s House earlier this year. He’s optimistic that a similar bill will pass in late 2018 or early 2019, noting that public opinion has shifted in support of medical cannabis as communities grapple with the opioid addiction epidemic.
But, he says, “we don’t want the Wild West.”