Trump to Roll Back Obama-Era Marijuana Policy
January 04, 2018
Trump administration to roll back Obama administration marijuana policy; US State Department places Pakistan on religious freedom watch list; Hiring up, as are jobless claims.
- Trump administration to roll back Obama administration marijuana policy. The Justice Department announced Thursday its intention to roll back an Obama administration policy that declined to interfere in state efforts at legalization and decriminalization. Under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, federal prosecutors will have broad leeway inside of districts, regardless of state and local laws, to enforce federal marijuana laws. This move challenges a wave of legalization laws in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, and efforts in Massachusetts and Maine. [Reuters]
- US State Department places Pakistan on religious freedom watch list. The Trump administration’s State Department has maintained a more critical position on Pakistan, indicating it believe Islamabad is not doing enough to combat terrorism and extremism in the country. This re-designation comes just after the administration announced it would be ending security payments, a type of foreign aid, to the country. Also added to the list of countries tolerating violations of religious freedom included: China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. [Reuters]
Economic Indicators & News
- Hiring up, as are jobless claims. Private employer payrolls were up in December, and firings were down reduced last month, as a result of a tight labor market and continually strengthening demand. The service industry alone added over 200,000 jobs in the month of December, leading estimates of net job creation to hover around 190,000, outside of farming. Jobless claims, however, were up for a third week in a row: likely due to the end of seasonal employment opportunities at the close of the holidays. The overall unemployment rate has hovered at a 17-year low of 4.1%, close to full employment. [Reuters]