Jeff Sessions Admits the Feds don’t have the Resources to Fight Small Marijuana Crimes
WASHINGTON — U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the federal government doesn’t have the resources to chase low-level marijuana crimes, according to the Associated Press.
Sessions rescinded an Obama federal policy that protected states with legal marijuana protection from federal prosecutors in January, prompting questions about whether federal prosecutors would use the revoked policy as a reason to arrest people for marijuana possession.
Attorney General Sessions was speaking at Georgetown University Law School’s 2018 National Student Symposium on Saturday. He said during his speech that the Department of Justice lacked the resources to prosecute individuals for marijuana possession.
The event was sponsored by the Georgetown Law Student Center and topics scheduled for the event included the Constitution, Federalism, the First and Fourteenth Amendments, Philosophy and the Supreme Court. Sessions spoke during a portion of the event titled Ending Government by Litigation.
Sessions told students in the question and answer portion of his speech that federal prosecutors will focus their resources on drug cartels, gangs and the illegal market. “I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States law,” said Sessions, an indication that he would not crack down on the legal marijuana industry.
He also said that federal prosecutors have not targeted small marijuana cases prior to the policy change and they won’t be targeting them now. However, Sessions left the door open for federal prosecutors when he added “Those are the kinds of things each one of those U.S. attorneys will decide how to handle,” said Sessions.
Sessions sparred with students last year when he was questioned on the stringent federal penalties for marijuana possession compared to gun control laws. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the federal government along with LSD and heroin.