Yesterday during a confirmation hearing Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated for United States Attorney General, was asked about his views on federal marijuana policy. The response was a bit evasive, leaving the window open for increased federal enforcement if/when he becomes Attorney General.
Some activists are optimistic given the fact that Jeff Sessions has always been very vocal about his direct opposition to marijuana reform. Others are less optimistic and see it as potentially laying the ground work for ramped up federal enforcement once Donald Trump is in the White House. Below is a reaction to yesterday’s confirmation hearing from the Drug Policy Alliance:
Statement from Bill Piper, Senior Director of the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs:
“Senator Jeff Sessions’ response to questions about marijuana & federalism during his Attorney General confirmation hearing today was wishy-washy at best. It is clear that he was too afraid to say the ‘reefer madness’ things he said just a year ago, and that’s progress. But he made it clear throughout the hearing that he will enforce federal law. He could have said he will respect state marijuana law, which is what President-elect Trump said on the campaign trail, but instead he said it is up to Congress to change the law.
“Sessions has a long history of opposing marijuana reform, and nothing he said at the hearing suggests he has changed his mind. Hopefully he will clarify his position in his written response to Senators’ questions.”