Sessions To Rescind Memo On State Marijuana Laws
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind the Obama-Era federal policy regarding marijuana. People close to Sessions spoke with reporters anonymously, telling reporters that the announcement will happen sometime on Thursday.
Sessions’ new federal policy will allow U.S. attorneys countrywide to decide how to utilize resources to enforce federal laws in legal marijuana states. Sessions’ decision breaks one of Trump’s campaign promises not to interfere with local state issues.
The decision also contradicts a promise from Sessions as well. Just a few short months ago, Sessions said that he would not rescind the current federal policy regarding cannabis in legal states. Changing federal policy as states are legalizing recreational marijuana puts cultivators and commercial retailers in a perplexing position.
The Attorney General’s views on marijuana are well known. He once said that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was okay until learning that they consumed cannabis. The decision comes as almost 70 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana, with some Republicans also supporting legalization.
Under President Obama, the federal policy was to not interfere with states with legal marijuana so long as they had state regulations in place.
Sessions is sending a memo to federal prosecutors advising of the change to federal policy, however, there are no detailed guidelines on enforcement provided in the memo except to say that the previous administration had provided a “safe-haven” for the marijuana industry.
Many are calling the decision as a warning to those thinking of investing in the cannabis industry, and many Republican politicians are angered by the change. Republican Sen. Cory Gardner sent out a tweet that said that the decision “directly contradicts” what the Attorney General said to him regarding his intentions with the policy last year.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California.