Washington, DC: Members of the United States Senate voted 52 to 47 on Wednesday to confirm Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General. All but one Democrat voted against the senator's confirmation, while all Republicans voted affirmatively.
During his tenure in Congress, Sen. Sessions was highly critical of statewide cannabis policy reforms, stating: "[M]arijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized. ... [I]t's in fact a very real danger." He also opined, "Good people don't smoke marijuana," and previously endorsed legislation to execute marijuana traffickers.
During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, Sen. Sessions said that it is not the responsibility of the Attorney General to pick and choose which federal laws to enforce.
Commenting of the appointment, NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said, "Jeff Sessions' views are out of step with mainstream America and they are in conflict with the laws regarding marijuana in over half of the states in this country."
NORML's online alerts generated over 26,000 communications from constituents to their Senators opposing Sen. Sessions' nomination, as well as several thousand phone calls. Several members of Congress cited the senator's opposition to marijuana policy reform as an impetus for rejecting his appointment.
For more information, please contact NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri or NORML Political Director Justin Strekal at (202) 483-5500.