Cannabis professionals are outspokenly wary of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — and for good reason.
Trump’s appointee has been traveling the country in defense of his tough-on-crime stance. This has included many signs that not only is the attorney general not a supporter of legal pot, but he might also seek to roll back some of the progress made in the country towards broader legalization.
Decriminalization of marijuana may become an issue. According to the Washington Post, Sessions has brought into his inner circle Steven H. Cook, former president of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Cook is perhaps best known for his staunch, public opposition of President Obama’s reductions of harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
The article went on to report that: “Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration.”
If so, then the future for states that have permitted recreational pot will inevitably face grey lines between what is legal and what is not under federal law. It’s no wonder that many states, even those where voters would seem willing to pass legalization measures, would rather play wait-and-see, rather than jump into the uncertainty of legal pot under Attorney General Sessions.