At Donald Trump’s request, Jeff Sessions resigned today as U.S. Attorney General. In other words, he was fired. In Trump’s doghouse for recusing himself from overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russian election conspiracy investigation, Sessions removal has some serious national political implications. Sessions’ Chief of Staff Robert Whitaker has been named Acting Attorney General.
Long before he was in Trump’s doghouse, Sessions faced the ire of the cannabis community with his Reefer Madness rhetoric, including making the statement that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Sessions repealed the Obama Administration’s Cole Memo that protected state marijuana programs from federal interference, causing some short-term turmoil, but as some of us predicted, Sessions’ move actually helped the cannabis legalization movement as it lit a fire under cannabis activists across the nation and our congressional allies.
NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, didn’t shed any tears over Session’s resignation/firing, issuing the statement, ”Attorney General Jefferson Sessions was a national disgrace, NORML hopes he finds the time during his retirement to seek treatment for his affliction of 1950’s reefer madness.”
We shall see how Acting Attorney General Robert Whitaker treats state cannabis programs, but it seems that he will have bigger priorities to deal with, especially with the success of cannabis measures on the 2018 ballot. While questions about the Mueller investigation will dominate Whitaker’s confirmation hearing, but hopefully he will be put on the record regarding his cannabis policy as well.
With the Reefer Madness-inspired Sessions gone, there should be even more of an opportunity for the cannabis legalization movement to seize the political movement and push to pass important reforms and even a bill to end federal prohibition altogether. While we won’t have to deal with Jeff Sessions for a while, it shouldn’t be a surprise if he runs for his old Senate seat in 2 years, so we will have to mobilize against Sessions once again.
Learn the latest about cannabis politics, business, and culture at the next International Cannabis Business Conference in San Francisco, California, on February 7-8. Don’t miss your opportunity to network with top investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates from the Golden State and around the world, while saving money, by purchasing your early-bird tickets by January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be traveling to Barcelona, Spain, on March 14th for a special event with Spannabis, before returning to Berlin, Germany, on March 31st-April 2nd. Stay tuned for some more exciting destinations soon!