Baker: States with legal pot not worried about fed crackdown
BOSTON – The possibility that the federal government could crack down on state-legal marijuana businesses does not seem to be weighing much on Gov. Charlie Baker, who said other governors aren’t that concerned either.
Talking about marijuana with members of the Springfield Republican’s editorial board last week, Baker was asked if he is worried that the federal government – which views marijuana as wholly illegal – might disrupt the emerging legal marijuana industry in Massachusetts.
Baker said that U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling “made pretty clear his primary focus is going to be on fentanyl and heroin” when the two met last month.
“He’s going to do whatever he’s going to do, right, but my message to him was ‘the big public health crisis we have in Massachusetts is fentanyl and heroin and I would much rather have you focus on those,'” Baker said.
In January, Lelling said he can not rule out bringing federal charges against state-legal marijuana businesses after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that allowed states to establish their own legal marijuana markets.
Baker said he speaks with governors of other states that have legal marijuana all the time “just because I’m curious to hear what they say” and said he talked about federal marijuana law enforcement with other governors at the National Governors Association meetings last month.
“I did not get the impression any of them felt there had been a significant change in their relationship with the U.S. attorneys in their states as a result of the change in the administration and the change in a number of the U.S. attorneys because people are pretty focused on the opioid issue,” Baker said.