At his confirmation hearing to become the next US Attorney General yesterday, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions seemed to soften his previous extreme views against legalization of cannabis. As we know, Sessions recently said things like “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and it is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”
Yesterday though, there was a little change of tone. According to Fortune, he acknowledged that trying to enforce federal law in legal marijuana states could “create an undue strain on federal resources.” But he also said he “won’t commit to never enforcing federal law.” The article also included a note that Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer made clear yesterday, that if Sessions is approved, he will oversee Trump’s agenda, not his own. As we know, the President-elect has publicly stated he is “100%” in favor of medical marijuana, and believes that recreational use should be decided by the states.
We don’t know if Sessions would leave in place the 2013 “Cole memo” which says the feds won’t prioritize going after state-legal cannabis as long as folks don’t do dumb things like give it to kids or have it interfere with public safety. But with a majority of states now having approved some form of legal pot, and 60% of Americans now favoring legalization, the highest it’s ever been, one hopes the new President will find other priorities to focus on, enforcement-wise.