AG Sessions Likely to Back down from a Marijuana Industry Crackdown

Sessions Cannabis

The broad federal crackdown on marijuana-legalized states appears unlikely as the DOJ’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety has “come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views.” The subcommittee, however, says officials “should evaluate whether to maintain, revise or rescind” the Cole Memo.

It appears that the Cole Memo will stay in place, at least for now, according to Newsweek. It will be Attorney General Sessions’ guide moving forward. The memo lists eight “enforcement priorities” that may call for federal action against state-licensed marijuana businesses. Many of those are impossible to achieve entirely. Others are too broad to consider.

Sessions seemed interested to know how states plan to combat underage consumption, interstate transport and driving under the influence. He sent letters to Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson to see what their intentions are.

Sessions wrote, “Please advise as to how Washington plans to ensure that all marijuana activity is compliant with state marijuana laws, to combat diversion of marijuana, to protect public health and safety, and to prevent marijuana use by minors.”

Even if he chooses not to retract the Cole Memo, Sessions could still stir the pot quite a bit if he wants to. Some experts believe he’ll be somewhere in the middle of what’s already in the Cole Memo and his own agenda. So far, there are no hard threats of a crackdown or plans for challenging state marijuana laws in a federal court.

A Quinnipiac poll from earlier this year shows that 71% of Americans say the federal government shouldn’t interfere with states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana.

Photo: huffingtonpost. com