Jeff Sessions Will Drastically Harm the Marijuana Industry

jeff sessions norml marijuana cannabis
(image via NBC)

I want to be wrong. I want to be “Y2K will cause a massive global financial meltdown!” wrong. I want to be “the Rapture will happen May 21… er, October 21, 2011!” wrong. I want to be “Hillary will win Michigan by five points” wrong, even though that’s what has gotten us to this point in the first place.

But I’m not. Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (2016’s runner-up to Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter for “Most Redneck Name”) will be our next Attorney General and he will begin a massive federal backlash against states that have legalized medical and adult-use marijuana.

I’ve written about this before and I seem to get the same responses. None of them ease my fears any.

Donald Trump Says He’s For States’ Rights

Trying to ease my fears by requiring me to put faith in something Donald Trump said about public policy is like asking me to trust Koko the gorilla as pilot on my plane because she signed “airplane good me fly”.

But let’s pretend Trumplethinskin really believes in the sovereignty of the states in matters of marijuana policy. Which states will he lean toward, the legal marijuana states which, all but Alaska, voted for Hillary – and their states’ rights to sell marijuana in stores? Or the prohibition states that make up his base and their states’ right to not have legal marijuana flowing across their borders?

Donald Trump’s All About Money; He Won’t Shut Down Business

Donald Trump is all about other people’s money – he started with daddy’s inheritance and then borrowed and defaulted and defrauded the rest.

Many of his friends, though, really are all about the money. Guys like Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO who’ll be Secretary of State. Guys who are wealthy from pharmaceutical, alcohol, and other industries far larger than ours that are not keen on a successful marijuana industry.

Again, where would he be shutting down business? Blue states that didn’t vote for him. Who would he be pissing off? People who by and large didn’t vote for him anyway.

Donald Trump Can’t Put The Marijuana Genie Back Into the Bottle

This is the idea that the marijuana market is worth $6.7 billion dollars, therefore, it is just too big to shut down. I know $6.7 billion sounds big, but it’s not. Think of how widespread an industry and how accustomed people were to alcohol in 1919.

In 1916, there were 1300 breweries producing full-strength beer in the United States… From 1919 to 1929, federal tax revenues from distilled spirits dropped from $365 million to less than $13 million, and revenue from fermented liquors from $117 million to virtually nothing.

Keep in mind that combined $482 million in fed tax revenue in 1919 in today’s dollars works out to… $6.7 billion dollars. In other words, just the feds were making in TAX from booze what we are generating GROSS from pot.

The states, like New York, which was faced with loss of 75% of its tax revenue, voted to ratify the 18th Amendment, even though it lost them a lot of money.

Donald Trump Won’t Spend Political Capital Against Popular Marijuana Issue

Again, predicting what the Human Trumpster Fire will do using the metrics of conventional politics is like attempting Robert’s Rules of Order at a meth-fueled biker orgy. A guy who is worried about his political capital doesn’t mock the handicapped on camera while stumping for votes.

Marijuana is an issue with very little depth of support. Consider that medical marijuana has been at greater than 70 percent national support this century. Yet even as we had President Obama saying he wouldn’t waste scarce resources on medical marijuana, there were more raids in his first term than both of Bush’s combined.

For Trump, there is much benefit for him if the Trumpanzees see him going after the decadent liberal Hollywood elite and those hippies in Oregon and Colorado breaking federal marijuana laws and making it impossible for God-fearin’ Arizonans, Idahoans, and Kansans to raise their kids weed-free.

Donald Trump Won’t Let Jeff Sessions Attack Marijuana

The reasons above are given to explain why I should not fear the Orange Cheeto Mussolini’s selection of the Senate’s most-outspoken critic of legal marijuana to lead the department of government that has the power to shut down legal marijuana.

There’s not much Sessions would have to do as AG to send shock waves through the industry. He wouldn’t even have to rescind the Cole Memo (though I think he will). Cole says states have to abide by eight federal priorities. Making the case that the states have violated at least one would not be difficult, especially considering who the arbiter of that memo will be.

Sessions need only send a letter to states’ attorneys general, informing them that state officials who regulate marijuana commerce are subject to federal prosecution. States could keep their legal personal weed, but commerce would be off-limits, just like Washington DC’s “grow and give” legalization. Perp-walk a few bureaucrats, raid a few of the big commercial warehouses, imprison a few of the business leaders, and industry growth stalls.

Donald Trump Has Bigger Fish to Fry

Yes! Trump promised to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. He promised to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. He promised to bring back all the jobs to coal country. He promised to defeat ISIS and end terrorism. He promised to Make America Great Again!

So, when all that completely unfeasible bullshit falls through and America has not been made great again, do you suppose Trump will own up to his failures and seek forgiveness from the Trumpkins? Or do you suppose he’ll need a scapegoat to vilify and attack, one that the Trumpkins can feel morally superior to?

Look, you can tell me all you like that the coach is committed to the pass, but if he keeps drafting fullbacks and halfbacks, I’ve got to believe he’s going to run. When it comes to marijuana, the game has never been about economics or medicine or compassion or fairness or justice or politics.

It’s a culture war, plain and simple. The other side now controls all three branches of government. They will fight for their culture and it doesn’t include pot shops and marijuana billboards and infused gummi bears.

Russ Belville
About Russ Belville 199 Articles

Russ Belville – or “Radical” Russ, as he is known on-air – hosts The Marijuana Agenda, a live news and talk radio program for the cannabis community, weekdays at 3pm Pacific on MJAgenda.com.  The show is based in Portland, Oregon, but “Radical” Russ has traveled over 300,000 air miles in the past five years, bringing his show to report live from hundreds of cannabis conferences, marijuana expos, hemp festivals, and legalization events in over 70 North American cities.