United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned today at President Trump’s request. In a letter to Trump, Sessions wrote he had been “honored to serve as Attorney General” and had “worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law that formed a central part of your campaign for the presidency.” Trump tweeted that Sessions would be replaced on an acting basis by Matthew G. Whitaker, who had been serving as Sessions’s chief of staff.
So, what does this mean for the world of cannabis? We have yet to see, but between this announcement and the midterm election results from yesterday, it’s been quite a wild 24 hours in the world of weed!
We all know that Sessions has not been helpful for the cannabis movement, and has been notoriously vocal about opposing cannabis in any form.
We are already feeling the affects of this as Canada-based marijuana stock Tilray went up 30% after Sessions resigned. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) called the move a “major step forward for marijuana reform,” and noted that Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who has obstructed votes on marijuana-related legislation was defeated in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Michael Hiller said, “The resignation of Jeff Sessions – a modern-day ‘Joseph McCarthy to the medical cannabis movement’ – will likely have little or no impact on the Federal Cannabis Lawsuit, particularly given that his acting successor, in a 2009 resignation letter to then President Obama, boasted of having successfully prosecuted cannabis drug offenses while serving as the U.S. Attorney for Iowa. If he shares the outgoing AG’s perspective on Cannabis, as seems to be the case, we won’t see any change policy and thus there wouldn’t be any change in the lawsuit. If, however, he sees what 33 states and the FDA already have recognized – that Cannabis provides medical and wellness benefits – he will seek to reschedule or de-schedule it. That could conceivably have an impact. Only time and circumstances will tell. And regardless, the entire situation will be thrown up into the air, and we’ll be asking those same questions, again when a permanent replacement is nominated and confirmed.”
What a day in news for the cannabis movement!