Obama-era attorney general blasts Jeff Sessions over cannabis views

A U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama laid into the nation’s current top law enforcement official and said that current AG Jeff Sessions has an “almost obsession with marijuana.”

Eric Holder – who served as U.S. attorney general from 2009 to 2015 – said during a speech at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York that, under his watch, the Department of Justice was correct to issue the 2013 Cole Memo and let states take the lead on regulating the cannabis industry, the Washington Examiner reported.

But Holder critiqued Sessions in his remarks and suggested the current attorney general’s approach to marijuana and support for states’ rights in Congress has put the DOJ in a “strange place.”

Holder also reiterated his support for the broad but nonbinding Cole Memo, which lays out various instances under which intervention by the DOJ could be warranted in the marijuana industry.

Sessions has wavered on the Cole Memo, saying that some of the guideline is “valid,” but he has also equated marijuana to heroin and refused to pledge to leave cannabis regulation to the states.