Washington, DC: Speaking to a gathering of state Attorney Generals this week, newly sworn in US Attorney General Jeff Sessions blamed recreational drug use for an alleged increase in violent crime and urged officials to reject efforts to regulate the adult use of cannabis.
Sessions disputed scientific evidence that legal cannabis access is associated with lower rates of opioid abuse, warned that states with adult marijuana use regulations remain in violation of federal law, and told attendees, "[W]e don't need to be legalizing marijuana."
One day earlier, Sessions made unsubstantiated claims that statewide marijuana legalization laws are positively associated with violent criminal activity, stating, "Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think and there's big money involved."
Sessions anti-marijuana remarks are consistent with other recent statements by Trump administration officials indicating that the Justice Department is intending to ramp up federal enforcement in states with recreational use laws.
For more information, please contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, or Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.