AG Sessions confirms status quo on cannabis policy

Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decidedly anti-marijuana statements since he took over the U.S. Department of Justice, it appears cannabis businesses are safe from his agency for the time being.

According to The Cannabist, when asked Tuesday during a congressional committee hearing regarding the DOJ’s policy on the marijuana industry, Sessions replied:

“Our policy is the same really, fundamentally, as the (Obama) policy, which is that the federal law remains in effect and a state can legalize marijuana for its law enforcement purposes, but it still remains illegal with regard to federal purposes.”

In other words, Sessions hasn’t yet decided to tear up the 2013 Cole Memo, which was issued by the Obama administration and laid the groundwork for the current U.S. recreational marijuana industry.

That means the industry status quo will likely continue for the foreseeable future, with states taking the lead on regulating and overseeing cannabis businesses while marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level.

Sessions also walked back some of his previous statements about cannabis and agreed with a congressman who pressed him on whether marijuana is “not as dangerous as heroin.”

“I think that’s correct,” Sessions replied, according to The Cannabist.

However, Sessions has repeatedly refused to close the door on possible future actions against MJ businesses by the DOJ while he’s in charge, and he made similar indications in front of the committee.

“We will be looking at some rigorous analysis of the marijuana usage and how it plays out,” Sessions said.

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3 comments on “AG Sessions confirms status quo on cannabis policy
  1. Mike on

    Give me a break. Cannabis is illegal at the federal level but states are legalizing it. The feds are weak and indecisive, they have a loud bark and no bite. Sessions and Trump can bark all they want, the genie is out of the bottle folks. Tax revenues are now flowing from cannabis business to state coffers. There is no going back, just posturing and threats from the federal level. Every tax dollar that is gotten from the cannabis industry just strengthens the industries resolve for success.

  2. Lance Brofman on

    Many states will be scrambling for revenue as a result of the Republican tax bill, legalizing and taxing recreational cannabis, will be an obvious solution.

    “..Another potential disruption from the Republican tax bill also stems from the reduction or eliminations of deductions forl state and local taxes. As with the real estate impact, the impacts on the finances state and local will vary widely for different regions and locations. There are some jurisdictions that will be severely impacted the reduction or eliminations of deductions for state and local taxes. …”

  3. Richardo on

    So Mr. Sessions…please tell the Jury why Cannabis is still scheduled as a 1 when the Government Dept of Health and Human Services has a Patent on it for Medical Benefits??? We are waiting…..oh….you can’t remember……interesting


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