Although he remains personally opposed to marijuana legalization, Attorney General Jeff Sessions (shown) indicated last week that he is not intent on cracking down on marijuana growers, sellers, and users in states where the drug is legal.
In an April 29 meeting with governors of four legal-marijuana states, Sessions strongly hinted that the Justice Department had higher priorities than enforcing federal cannabis laws in such states, according to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D), who requested the meeting.
“He certainly was very direct and clearly said they’ve got a lot of priorities,” Hickenlooper told MSNBC’s MTP Daily. “And, at one point, he said, ‘Well, you haven’t seen us cracking down, have you?’ I said, ‘No.’”
Hickenlooper laid out the basics, noting that he worked against legalization here, but that he believes Colorado lawmakers and regulators have in place a good system that is getting better. The governor noted that we haven’t seen a rise in teenage use of the drug, that emergency room visits have decreased as laws regulating edibles have made the products safer and that the state worked this legislative session to tighten loopholes in grows that have seen large amounts of pot slipping into other states that haven’t legalized.
Hickenlooper said Sessions “certainly listened” to what the governors had to say, and while the attorney general “couldn’t have been more emphatic” about his opposition to marijuana legalization, “he didn’t give me any reason to think that he is going to come down and suddenly try to put everyone out of business.”
That is reassuring news for the cannabis industry, which has existed in something of a legal limbo ever since states began legalizing the drug. “Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and Washington, D.C., where it is also legal for recreational use,” reported the Daily Caller. “Voters in Maine, Nevada, California and Massachusetts all approved measures to legalize marijuana for recreational use on Election Day. Nearly 20 percent of Americans now have access to legal pot.”