Cortez Masto: Administration hypocritical to move against pot

The White House said the Trump Administration, led by a law-and-order conservative Attorney General, may be moving against the recreational use of marijuana.

“I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it,” says White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, drawing a distinction with medical use. “That is very different than recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into,” said Spicer.

In November, Nevada voters approved Question Two, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana by a 54% to 46% margin. Nevada joined seven other states and the District of Columbia, which allow marijuana for recreation.

“So, first of all, it would be hypocritical,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, responding to reporters’ questions about her take on any pot crackdown. Nevada’s new Senator says it doesn’t square with an administration and a Republican Party that trumpets states’ rights.

Her message for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

“If he's going to go down that path, he's not going to take on just me, he's going to be taking on many other “elected” in those states who promote and support those types of activities in their states,” she said.

This is her first senate recess since replacing Harry Reid.

What a week.

Tuesday, the administration unveiled guidelines that expand who could be deported, broadening the definition of the types of criminals who could get kicked out. The White House says the President is carrying out a campaign promise to secure the border and keep the country safe, while immigrant allies say the expanded guidelines mean virtually anyone here illegally could be at risk.

“Because of it I introduced my bill to rescind it,” she told me.

“It’s continuing down the path of preying on hard working families who have done nothing other than come here for a better opportunity for themselves and their kids,” said Cortez Masto adding, “they’re not criminals.”

The White House says there are no plans for mass roundups. Cortez Masto doesn’t buy it, especially after reports surfaced last week about a draft Homeland Security memo that called for calling up the National Guard to help with deportations. The report was quickly batted down by the White House, which says the plan never made it to the Homeland Security Secretary and that it was never under serious consideration.

No matter, says Nevada’s junior Senator.

“So that tells me there’s a mindset, whether or not it’s implemented, there’s a mindset to do everything they can to widen that net, to take on everyone who is here, undocumented,” she said.

Wednesday the Administration rescinded the Obama-era protection for transgender students, saying it’s a matter better left to the states. The Administration also says there will be no tolerance for discrimination.

“It’s terrible,” said Cortez Masto, reacting to the move. “We need to continue to fight against discrimination,” she says, adding, “they don’t care about that.”

A short time later...she was at a Las Vegas Metro Chamber lunch. I asked the who's who of local business what this new Democrat should do in Republican Washington.

“Infrastructure spending is something that, regardless of the fact that you’re a Democrat or you're a Republican, it's something that can create jobs and business opportunities for everyone,” said Ken Evans, the President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce.

That was the Senator’s message: “I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to fight for those federal dollars to invest in our infrastructure here in Nevada,” Cortez Masto told the audience.

She's been in office 51 days.

Just curious: Anybody from the White House say hi?

“Not yet. Looking forward to it,” she says.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off