Cannabis supporters have been on edge since president Donald Trump appointed longtime cannabis opponent Jeff Sessions to the position of United States Attorney General. Session was once famously quoted as saying that he thought the KKK was OK until he found out that they consume cannabis. He also stated that good people don’t consume cannabis. Jeff Sessions even once supported legislation that would have called for the death penalty for people caught selling marijuana. With all of that reefer madness baggage, it’s not surprising that cannabis supporters have felt quite a bit of anxiety ever since Sessions took over the top law enforcement position in America.
A lot of people have been wondering if Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration would reverse a lot of the cannabis policy progress that the Obama administration put in place, specifically the Cole memo. Jeff Sessions was in front of members of Congress today answering various questions, some of which touched on cannabis policy. In surprising fashion, Jeff Sessions provided good news for cannabis policy at the federal level, as covered by Tom Angell for Forbes:
Obama-era guidance that allows states to legalize marijuana without federal interference remains in effect, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday during a congressional hearing. He also conceded that cannabis is not as dangerous as heroin and that a current budget rider prevents the Department of Justice from prosecuting people who are in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.
“Our policy is the same, really, fundamentally as the Holder-Lynch policy, which is that the federal law remains in effect and a state can legalize marijuana for its law enforcement purposes but it still remains illegal with regard to federal purposes,” Sessions said, referring to his predecessors as attorney general during the Obama administration.
Today’s news should hopefully provide some peace of mind for the cannabis community. U.S. Representative Steve Cohen had a lot to say to Attorney General Sessions during today’s hearing, video of which can be found below: