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Jeff Sessions Says States Can Legalize…but There’s a Catch

Jeff Sessions

Cannabis legalization supporters and Drug War reformers certainly weren’t happy when Donald Trump appointed Reefer Madness prohibitionist Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions then proceeded to validate our fears when he rescinded the Obama administration’s policies that allowed states to move forward with their own cannabis laws without federal interference, discouraged prosecutors from pushing for the most severe punishment for nonviolent drug offenses (Sessions brought back the death penalty!), and moved our nation away from the use of private prisons.

While there are many reasons to oppose Sessions’ Drug War policies, his repealing of the Obama-era Cole Memo hasn’t slowed down the cannabis industry or the movement to reform laws, and, as some of us predicted, his outdated policies actually strengthened the cannabis community. Now, Sessions has come out and said that states are free to make their own marijuana laws (duh), but there’s a catch, as he left open U.S. Attorneys’ ability to enforce federal policy, as Marijuana Moment reported:

States are free to legalize marijuana, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday, but his department plans to continue enforcing federal prohibition anyway.

“Personally my view is that the American republic will not be better if there are marijuana sales on every street corner,” Sessions said in response to a reporter’s question. “But states have a right to set their own laws and will do so.”

Sessions, speaking at a press conference in Boston about unrelated fraud prosecutions, said that when it comes to marijuana, “we’ll enforce the federal law.”

MassLive provided the video:

It’s clear that Jeff Sessions’ Reefer Madness policies are going the way of the dodo bird as state after state moves to legalize the medicinal or adult use of cannabis and, and support is climbing across all party affiliations and demographics. While Sessions may personally want to enforce federal laws, it appears that he’s been politically neutered by US Attorneys that have limited resources and more important priorities. Further, Sessions’ boss, Donald Trump, has signaled his support for a states’ rights legalization bill that could get more support following the 2018 midterm elections. Jeff Sessions will never be a proponent of sensible cannabis policies that are creating jobs and generating revenue across our nation, but it’s good to see that his Reefer Madness is much more bark than bite, and the bark is more of a whimper these days.

Jeff Sessions clearly isn’t going to stop the cannabis industry from thriving, so there has never been a better time to learn pertinent information and network with top professionals to take your business to the next level. If you are in the industry, or thinking of joining, the International Cannabis Business Conference is the event for you. Don’t miss the next ICBC in Portland, Oregon, this September 27th-28th. Get your early bird tickets by September 12th to save $200! 

Caricature credit: DonkeyHotey

Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Marijuana Majority, MassLive, US Attorney