Attorney General Sessions Ending Federal Policy That Let Legal Pot Flourish
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded an Obama-era policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, creating new confusion about enforcement and use just three days after a new legalization law went into effect in California.
President Donald Trump’s top law enforcement official announced the change Thursday. Instead of the previous lenient-federal-enforcement policy, Sessions’ new stance will instead let federal prosecutors where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce longstanding federal law prohibiting it.
Sessions rescinded the policy by president Barack Obama’s Justice Department that has generally barred federal law enforcement officials from interfering with marijuana sales in states where the drug is legal.
“In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the Department’s finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions,” by considering the seriousness of the crime and its impact on the community, Sessions wrote in a one-page memo to the nation’s federal prosecutors.
The move by Trump’s attorney general likely is sure to add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where the drug is legal.
In a stopped clock/blind squirrel moment, my Republican Senator Cory Gardner is pushing back hard against this decision.
I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.