It is still hard to believe the November 8th results. Many legalization ballot initiatives passed which is a great step forward. However, the unpredictability of a president-elect Trump gave cause for concern, and a chance for two steps back.
Donald Trump did not mention his stance or his cabinet’s future stance on marijuana legalization. It seems like Trump himself seemed very disinterested in drug policy reform and prison reform in general. Instead, he focused on building a border wall, fixing economic and trade issues, getting rural Americans jobs and getting white Americans to vote for him in droves. As the dust is settling, one choice among all the other cabinet appointments gives more of a solidified stance on what the Trump presidency’s position on marijuana will be.
Donald Trump recently appointed Jeff Sessions, a nearly two-decade senator from Alabama known for his conservative stances on a multitude of issues, as his Attorney General. He has mostly drawn scrutiny in the media for his prior comments on civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the ACLU, but accusations of racial insensitivity have plagued him since his political career began in the 80’s. However, it was hardly a surprise that Donald Trump appointed him as Attorney General.
The Attorney General is essentially the main legal advisor to the government, the top law enforcement officer and lawyer to the government. The Attorney General is also tasked with how the executive branch will “execute” the laws of the land. Since President Obama took office, we have been fortunate to have his Attorney Generals take a softer stance on enforcing Federal laws around marijuana. What many people forget here is that federal law always trumps (no pun intended) state law by something that is known as the Supremacy Clause.
So, all the initiatives that passed this Tuesday wouldn’t mean anything if federal prohibition on marijuana is enforced. Currently they are safe until January as a lame-duck Obama cabinet has little to know interest in the new state legalization initiatives.
Unfortunately, Jeff Sessions fits the profile of someone who would enforce antiquated federal drug laws. His own state of Alabama has some of the harshest rules around marijuana in the country. Considering he was an attorney general in Alabama, he is directly responsible with upholding pro-incarceration “mandatory minimum” sentences for marijuana. It won’t surprising if he pursues the legalized markets in Colorado and Washington but he may be too busy with Trump’s xenophobic immigration enforcement. Sessions will be a busy many come January when Trump is officially inaugurated. Putting weed aside, it worries many about what exactly this man is capable of.
To put it in perspective, this is a man that thought the KKK was OK until he found out they “smoked marijuana.” For anyone reading this, Jeff Sessions probably won’t like you very much. To actually believe that the KKK, with all it’s horrible history and destructive force it had on the south, to say that they’re ok until they smoke some of the devils lettuce, give me a break! It shows that he is either completely out of touch with America or in denial as to what America is becoming.
Jeff Sessions Disdain for Marijuana Users
For whatever reason, don’t expect Jeff Sessions to uphold Attorney General Lynch’s letter around federal enforcement of drug law. It all depends on what the Trump presidency priorities are which like Trump are extremely difficult to predict or pin down. However, he is putting marijuana smokers below that of the KKK in terms of people he likes, he is a truly dangerous man. Watch the skies, tokers and growers alike. The times are a changing.
Hopefully Jeff Sessions will not dare touch the cannabis industry. If he does he will regret it. The American people have spoken, and his stance on this issue are in direct opposition. It is clear, this Attorney General not good for cannabis industry.
Article written by Zach Johnson