JUST IN: Sessions Evades Firm Answer on State Marijuana Laws, Leaves Door Open for Federal Enforcement

marijuana_gavelDuring his confirmation for the position of Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions failed to give a straight answer with regard to how the Justice Department should respond to states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

The Alabama Senator was questioned by both Sens. Leahy (D-VT) and Lee (R-UT) with respect to whether the principles of federalism ought to apply to state marijuana laws.

Senator Leahy: “Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people using marijuana in accordance with state law even though it might violate federal law?”

Senator Sessions: “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy, but absolutely it is a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized, at least in some fashion marijuana, some parts of marijuana.”

Senator Leahy: “Do you agree with those guidelines?”

Senator Sessions: “I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases, but fundamentally the criticism I think that is legitimate is that they may not have been followed. Using good judgment on how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine I know it wont be an easy decision but i will try to do my duty in a fair and just way.”

Senator Leahy: “The reason I mention this, is because you have some very strong views, you even mandated the death penalty for second offense on drug trafficking, including marijuana, even though mandatory death penalties are of course unconstitutional.”

Senator Sessions: “Well I’m not sure under what circumstances i said that, but I don’t think…”

Senator Leahy: “Would you say it‘s not your view today?”

Senator Sessions: “(laughs) It is not my view today.”

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) followed up with questions regarding how marijuana policy factors into federalism and asked if the way the Obama Administration has handled marijuana laws created any issues with separation of powers and states rights. Sessions replied that, “One obvious concern is the United States Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act. If that’s something that’s not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule, it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”

So, after finally being put on the spot and questioned on the issue, we are no closer to clarity in regards to Sessions plans for how to treat state marijuana laws than we were yesterday. If anything, his comments are a cause for concern and can be interpreted as leaving the door open for enforcing federal law in legalized states. If Sessions wants to be an Attorney General for ALL Americans, he must bring his views in line with the majority of the population and support allowing states to set their own marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention.

Clearly, the battle is just beginning to protect state legalization and medical marijuana laws. Can you contribute today to help us keep up our federal political actions and advance our efforts for state-level law reform?

134 thoughts

  1. One very positive thing that I got from it was that it appears to me that Mr. Sessions is very supportive in any effort to update federal law with regards to marijuana’s legality. It seems to me that he would welcome new legislation passed by Congress that would end prohibition federally and would make his job a lot easier and he’d be able to focus on more important issues.

    1. Maybe even Sessions realizes that legalization is the inevitable future. Could be a positive development if he is actually open to change, frankly, a MIRACLE. But we shall see.

    2. Let me agree with Canada Guy. It is positive that he all but suggested that Congress act to repeal the ban. Remember that this all goes back to interstate commerce. Arguably, homegrown harvesting and use solely within a State with no intent or evidence of interstate transfer should never be prohibited under Federal Law. Remember, these are States Righters and they also have a big “leave me the fuck alone, government” caucus. Gotta work with them.

      1. With respect, I don’t think that’s what he said. I believe Sessions is simply trying to cloak his bigotry.

        If he had unilaterally and voluntarily issued a press release calling on Congress to deschedule cannabis, THEN I think that would have been a positive indication.

        But he didn’t. He was being questioned on his “reefer-madness” views, under oath, for a confirmation hearing. In the same way that Sessions was trying not to appear racist, he was also trying not to appear to have “reefer madness.”

        But what he seems to be saying is “Since Congress has chosen not to legalize it, I’m going to continue to view it as a crime.”

        As far as Obama’s guidelines for tolerance, Sessions said in essence, “they don’t work.”

        And that ain’t good, people! The prohibitionists were on the ropes and fighting for their lives, a few months ago. Now they’re back in power. They ain’t in the mood for concessions!

        Don’t mistake a white cloak for a virtuous character.

      2. Im afraid Mark’s analysis is correct. Flake from Arizona is… well… Flaking out. All we can hope for is he Flake’s out a bowl of Frosted on Sessions at the last minute.
        Senator Booker’s testimony today marks the furst time an active Senator has testified in the nomination of a cabinet appointee:
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/jeff-sessions-has-made-his-case-to-be-the-attorney-general-now-the-senate-will-hear-from-supporters-and-detractors/2017/01/10/5683ce24-d796-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_sessions-1225p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

        Senator Booker, D-NJ, said that Sessions will “persue” rather than defend “the addicted.” He said that “At a time when the FBI and the two previous USAG’s recognized systemic racism our criminal justice system and failures in the command of our law enforcement Senator Sessions will do nothing to address these issues.”
        He didn’t flat out say “Sessions will reverse the Cole memos and states rights and criminalize state marijuana legalization” as we would have liked. Sessions is expected to be confirmed. Feinstein let him slide on the first day by failing to motion a delay on a misleading and incomplete Senate Judiciary Questionaire.

      3. I’m going to make a SHITLIST of the names of every complicit Senator that votes to confirm Sessions, and tape it to my wall, so that I can 1) remember to write them to tell them off, and then 2) make sure I never vote for them, and then 3) spread the word, so that nobody else votes for them either, and they lose their stinking jobs!

    3. In his answers he sounds like he is quite a reasonable guy – but these are just words and Trump has cheapened political promises until they mean absolutely nothing. If he gets the job and does the opposite of what he says today he will not be held to account and herein lies the real problem for us all !

      That said – on the issue of cannabis (and drugs in general) I really think politicians are looking for a way to put this behind them with as little personal embarrassment as possible. Prohibition costs money; legalisation makes money and saves money. This administration does not need any extra expenditure after it has promised huge tax cuts and silly projects like this damn border wall.

      Time have changed

      1. Prohibition doesn’t cost money, it makes money. The real reason it’s illegal is because you could grow it for free.

      2. If Big-Pharm has any thing to say about it; Pot will be Schedule-1* forever!
        (Pls. note asterisk)
        Legalizing Pot will put a real big hurt on Big-Pharm’s leading money makers!
        Sales of over-the-counter and Rx required meds will plummet.
        Net losses for only one product, Ibuprofen, which Big-Pharm sells globally as a “Pain Reliever” will be BILLIONS of dollars!
        B-I-L-L-I-O-N-S!

        * Millions in lobby money gets donated to keep Pot
        away from those needing relief from pain.

      3. I have found a legal CBD oil that will blow big Pharm off the map. The health benefits that I have found are Absolutely fabulous. I want to shout it from the rooftops. This is the way of the future….a healthier way of life

      4. One of the saving graces of the pot industry, if you will, is that, yes, you can grow it for free, but to do it right costs money and takes time and knowledge. This will keep the pot industry growing with a built-in check and balance in that you CAN grow your own.

      5. I’m pro pot, and pro wall. Enough states have legalized now, that there should be a move to repeal prohibition entirely. Extensive new lower level regulation is not the solution. Outright legalize marijuana for food, fuel, fiber, and now medicine and recreational. Alcohol prohibition was in large part repealed by the power of the jury and jurors rights to form grand juries and counter investigate the authorities enforcing prohibition. Rather than simply sit on a jury and answer questions within the confines of the direction of the court, they counter questioned asking why these cases were brought to prosecution in the first place. If this is a country ran by We The People, We The People should have a say in how it’s run. The government is in place to protect our inalienable rights to liberty, not to regulate them. Thank you.

      6. You just fucked yourself good — your own pro-wall dick just went up your own pro-pot ass, when you voted for Trump. Please un-fuck yourself, and join the resistance against Trump!

      7. Why is it every time someone comes at as pro trump, someone has to act extremely disrespectful towards them. Just because you have different political views, is no reason to act in such despicable way. The liberals hating conservatives and conservatives hating liberals is ridiculous. Get over your differences and try to find common ground. Protecting the border is not “racist” or “Islamophobic” or whatever other buzzword you want to use. Everyone has certain issues they find more important than others.
        I too, like probably everyone on this site, wants the end of marijuana prohibition. I doubt Hillary would have tried to legalize it at a federal level, just as Obama has not. Unfortunately the best bet, Bernie, lost a long time ago…

      8. @ “Anonymous,”
        Man, you have got a hell of a lot of nerve.
        The pro-wall, pro-pot Trump supporter fucked himself, and I called him on it. That offends you? But non-consensual “pussy-grabbing” doesn’t offend you?

        I was making a political point — the dumbass voted against his own interests in a big way. My saying so offends you? But proposing to build a wall to stop “Mexican rapists” doesn’t offend you?

        Man, you’re sick in the head!

      9. @ Anonymous, respect, respect Trump, respect Sessions,, respect people who voted for weed then voted red. No I don’t, not for a second.
        Make a choice, Republicans or Weed.. You can’t have both.

      10. While I agree with Mark, here’s a more specific way to put it:
        Please read up on Harry Anslinger and see how he blamed Mexicans and “marihuana” to start the drug war. Rural American farmers backed this hateful ideology with no idea they were about to prohibit the hemp that kept their farms going.
        Now look at how Trump started his campaign in Trump tower, blaming Mexicans for “bringing their rapists.” See any tactical similarities? BTW, watch Frontline’s “Rape in the Fields” to see whose really doing the raping to who.
        Walls do not stop illegal trafficking, they merely increase the profit of traffickers who then use said profits to purchase our immigration agents, build tunnels and buy bigger ladders.
        In short, if we want to stop illegal trafficking of any kind, we should:
        1) Be better neighbors
        2) Stop using USAID and the CIA to overthrow Democratically elected LATAM leaders to make their countries resources weak for US corporate exploitation.
        3). Legalize drugs so the profits will go to pay off our debt, not to strengthen cartels within our own DOJ
        4) invest those profits in school walls for EDUCATION, not some dip$#!+ metal gate blocking off a US golf course in Brownsville to save money along a horseshoe in the river. Clearly, even you can grasp how stupid and wasteful THAT is.
        We are all being distracted with nonsense about walls, Russia and Hillary’s fucking emails (I tried not to cuss) from either noticing widespread voter supression or contacting our Senators to stop nominations of Senator Jeff Sessions or Tillerson. Forget about illegal Mexicans which are net ZERO for immigration, legal or otherwise; what about illegal Trump electorates?! (Net 50)

      11. But since we already wrote our Senators and called every news radio talk show to block Sessions… Here’s the scoop on why Trump’s favorite wall distraction will never amount to a Pink Floyd song:
        There exists no Federal easement along the Texas border. And there exists an international treaty between Mexico and the United States from the 1970’s where no structure can be built to “impede the natural flow” of the Rio Grande river. As a result, private property would have to be taken from private American Texan citizens through a process of eminent domain, ending any attempt to build a wall in miserable litigation, just like it did when Bush W. tried to build it. And he was President AND governor if Texas. So in the words of former Mexican President Vicente Fox “We’re not going to build your fuc*ing wall.” (Damn, cussed again. Its so difficult). Well, unless of course we could convince the Mexican people the wall could keep out Trump and his Exxon cronies. But walls just dont work that way, unfortunately.
        Another good quote from Fox is “God did not tell Eve “Do not eat the apple because it will make you sick,” God said “It is prohibited.” And so she ate the apple. And if God had kept the truth from her but kept forbidding her… prohibiting her from the apple… I bet she would have climbed a wall to do it too.

    4. What have you been smoking. I didn’t read anything at all to suggest Jeff Sessions of all people would support Congress legalizing MJ. And more than one Republican has said flat out ” When I talk about states rights, I don’t mean Marijuana “

    5. Sessions knows that this republican congress isn’t legalizing cannabis, so he can ramp up federal enforcement.

    6. He strongly supports the federal government shutting all of this down he’s not in support of reform as long as its illegal on a federal level he’s going to do everything in his power to stop it and make it harder for anyone with reasonable medical conditions

  2. Leahy softballed Sessions…why didn’t he press for further clarification?…They all appear to be afraid?

    “Good people don’t smoke pot” – Jeff (Jail’em) Sessions

    It doesn’t take a weatherman…

    Something wicked this way comes…

  3. sessions said today that he would respect the law’s from congress about pot laws,how many congressmen(women)are on board supporting state pot laws?

    1. North Dakota voted to legalize medical with 64% of the pop vote.
      Then it returned John Hoeven ( Norml grade F )
      to the Senate with 78% pop vote.
      His opponent had sponsored a medical marijuana bill.
      Florida voted to legalize med with 71% of the pop vote
      Then it returned Marco Rubio ( grade F ) to the senate with 52%
      His opponent had voted consistently to liberalize pot laws.
      Arkansas voted for med with 53% pop
      Then it returned John Boozman ( grade F ) to the senate with almost 60% pop
      His Opponent endorsed Medical marijuana.

      All three winners will vote for Jeff Sessions
      All three losers probably would not.

      Marijuana won overwhelmingly on Oct 8

      One party talked about a ” path to legalization ” in it’s platform.
      The other talked about reversing that path.

      Guess which party now controls the White House, House of Rep, and Senate, Supreme Court, lower courts, all Federal agencies, most statehouses and legislatures.

      You can see why your elected representatives might be a little confused.

      1. Excellent points; got me wondering, too!

        Many people vote based on emotion rather than reason, we do know that much. So anything is possible, I suppose.

        But it also raises the further question: isn’t it possible, if not likely, that voting machines, manufactured by corporate entities of dubious trustworthiness, and operating on private, proprietary computer software, have their proverbial “thumbs on the scale” in specific key races? And whether that is true or not, isn’t it reasonable to want to be able to publicly verify that the software is legitimate?

        I don’t see why the code for voting machines shouldn’t available for public inspection. Hardware, too! I think the citizens have every right to know exactly how that machine works. It’s possible someone could point out something I hadn’t considered, but I see no reason for that code to be proprietary.

        Who Watches the Watchers?

      2. Democracy is always a leap of faith. Paper Ballot boxes can be stuffed. Any computer system can be hacked. Actually the contradiction in the elections I referred to do verify some faith in the system, if not marijuana would not have won anywhere, least of all in Arkansas and North Dakota.
        The points I take from the elections of 2016 are that.
        1. A lot of conservative Republican voters do want legal weed,
        2. They are not going to cross over and vote for the other party on this issue. I’m talking about pluralities,, there’s a lot of exceptions.
        In other words, the politicians of both parties now know what they have always suspected,
        Democrats can expect only a little bump by being pro weed
        Republicans have little to fear by being anti weed.

      3. That makes sense. Thank you for that further analysis.

        Hmmm. I guess the part I missed has to do with my failure to understand the thinking of a Republican who 1) supports marijuana legalization, and who 2) will vote for marijuana legalization if given a chance, but yet who 3) will invariably vote INTO POWER the most ardent and lockstep of prohibitionist Republicans. I admit, that’s a struggle for me to understand that.

        I think I may be missing the emotional, almost religious experience of voting Republican for these people, which, I think may be what causes them to vote against their own interests. It’s not a logic thing for them.

        I’m totally speculating here, though. Can’t say I fully understand anyone who would vote for Trump, although I do know a few people like that.

      4. Unless we CALL our state and federal representatives and Senators and explain very clearly and personally to their staff and everyone who will stop and listen in their office that we will vote for ANYONE who will support marijuana legalization. Democrat. Republican. Independent. Patriot. Oligarch. Just DEschedule it NOW. Our vote hinges on it.

      5. Apparently independent news is the only source covering the real scandals that neither the corporate media, the RNC or the DNC really want us to know about:

        http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/least-50-trump-electors-were-illegitimately-seated-electoral-college-members

        Voters were purged if their names matched a felon from another state. Because minorities are targeted by corrupt leaders in law enforcement… like Sessions will… and ignore the recent DOJ investigations into Chicago and Baltimore that prove what we already know, that there is systemic racism in too many police forces across America who line their pockets and city budgets with asset forfeitures from the poor and targeted minorities, these voters with felony records tend to be Democratic voters. Nearly half a million votes were purged in Michigan alone where Trump “won” by about 10,000 votes. And on top of this 50 of his electors were illegally registered. And yet were pointing the finger at Russia? Its all about the asset forfeitures. The CSAct turns cops into criminals who prey upon the weak and on nonviolent, productive marijuana consumers. The money is not reported to the Treasury and Congress gets a campaign donation. Russia may be a problem, but prohibition fuels organized crime from within the DOJ and law enforcement, purchasing and infecting our Congress. How do we connect the dots for Americans who still get distracted by the great orange douchebag von Clownstick?

  4. What Sessions actually said was that he thought congress should change the law if to correct the contradictions. He basically passed the buck as he did on every contentious issue they asked him about. He consistently said, on every issue, that he would set aside his personal views and enforce the law in the way it was written and with the priorities he was given.
    Not quite sure what he actually thinks his job role is – it seems to be merely clerical ? The issue is will he do what he is saying today ?
    As the article says we are no closer to knowing what he will do but it looks like they are leaving the door open to taking a hands off approach.

    Stay positive and take comfort in the fact that you are now a major industry with legal support and lobbying power ( if maybe not banking yet )

  5. Rednecks win again!

    I can picture Sessions kicked back with a tumbler of Whisky and a Cuban cigar…”relaxing” in his “Robe”…and smoking Hat…if I make my point.

    Conversely, I can also picture many more people in Private Prisons…especially those who disagree with anything beyond what they are told to believe.

    Oh! America!…wake up?

    1. I don’t think these “rednecks” realized what they were getting themselves into. Think Trump is going to help them and the workers, the lower classes? Time will tell. I will give the new administration a chance, but I fear the worst.

  6. He said that the DOJ will not look the other way on weed, apparently.

    The beginning of the end. He’s going to crack down, I have little doubt now.

      1. Sessions is hardly the poster boy for honesty. Look at how he tried to portray himself as someone who HELPED civil rights, claiming he “filed” 20-30 desegregation cases as U.S. attorney. When Sen. Al Franken pressed him on the accuracy of his statement, he of course retreated to the old semantics and false memory arguments.

        I not only worry about the Dems holding firm in opposing him, as they too often fold in these circumstances, but also the “principled” GOPers, who almost always put partisanship ahead of the good of the country and the people.

        In light of the circus atmosphere following Trump and his inauguration, the Russian kerfuffle, I’m growing a bit worried that The Donald won’t even make it through his first year as Prexy, because waiting in the wings is someone far more dangerous to our cause–Mike Pence.

        Pence and Sessions, prototypical evangelical types, look like two choir boys or two small town bankers, with perfectly combed hair, perfectly pressed suits, et al, but they are the truly dangerous ones. Heinrich Himmler resembled a mild manner banker, too.

    1. If he tries to shut it down, he’ll meet with too much resistance. The horse is out of the barn now. States are seeing the benefits and lack of expected problems, citizens are realizing they either like it or that it’s not the problem they thought it was, too many industries already engaged.

      1. I dont think the resistance will be able to overcome enforcement as legalization is STILL far too fragile, and, yes, could be enforced. Perhaps not…FULLY, as in users would be largely ignored (not to mention, at this point, many people would not care about the outdated Federal law whatsoever, especially if marijuana use is now a part of their lifestyle). Sessions could stop retail sales in the new states and start wiping out shops in states like Co. and WA, Oregon, Alaska. He obviously could not stop the movement….entirely, as it would always loom under the surface until the next AG or whatever/whomever,and he cannot stop groups like NORML, MPP, even if he declared them promoting drug abuse, whatever, but he could do alot of damage that this country does NOT need at this point with legalization such a powerful, powerful force. I am hoping Sessions hesitates and choose not to act, claiming waste of resources and perhaps too controversial an issue at this point. He has an immigration agenda probably and other issues on his mind, thankfully, that are more pressing. It is also up to Trump and this is his FIRST term. He does not want controversary, even though, sadly, marijuana STILL is not a big enough issue to derail politicians who choose prohibition. It is a fact. Let us hope for a better and more evolved approach from Sessions, who, btw, yeah, I think he will be confirmed.

      2. but I do agree, there is enormous resistance, but the problem is Sessions has the power of law enforcement and the law behind him. All our protests and resistance would slow him down, but the movement is still too fragile and would be overcome, albeit NOT completely, and the resistance would NOT be completely eliminated either. At worst Sessions is only delaying the inevitable, however. It would be NICE to have California up and running and the others instead of last year, years earlier, which would make it even HARDER for him to crackdown. We need more states. FAST. And the programs up and running, esp. in California.

      3. Finally, for now, (yes, work again tonight) Sessions is right about one thing—-we must do something about that outdated Federal law. What is it, almost half a century old now? Neighbors like Canada and Mexico legalizing would help too, and Prohibition celebrates EIGHTY YEARS 80, this year if I am not mistaken. We MUST get with the times and the new century, it is 2017, wake up, Mr. Sessions!

  7. Note his wording “…it is a problem of resources for the federal government…”

    In other words – given sufficient resources, his justice department would happily enforce the federal law. Serious red flag.

    1. I interpreted that differently. I take it to mean that he perhaps views enforcement as a poor use of federal resources. This is the party of trimming unnecessary government spending, or so they say.

      1. Drug War III won’t be financed by increased taxes,,, it will be financed by increased civil asset forfeiture…

  8. However, maybe you are right, he might be hestitant to answer because he knows it is such an explosive issue. Probably going to hold off on moving on marijuana until he gets a better idea as to just how huge the national tone toward legalization has become. I think Sessions might be hesitating deliberatly here because he really does not know how to address the issue, and the timing of a hearing is a very bad one to do so. As much as he might want to shut down legalization, he quite possibly does not know what to even do, would rather focus on clearing his name and on much larger issues. Going to be painfully interesting to see what happens…

  9. Thanks, Senator Leahy, though, for asking those critical questions we are dying to know. Looking over this article and the comments again….perhaps I should not be so pessimistic. It….may be possible Sessions will hold off on enforcement? Could it be….he has changed? Or is this just a cover-up. Once again, I have to go to work this evening, but I will be back later. Feel free to respond.

  10. Trumps son is involved in marijuana back East–highly unlikely (hopefully ) he will attack Marijuana.

    1. Why, his son’s never going to go to jail for Marijuana,,, he could smoke it on the front step of DEA headquarters on live TV and still not get arrested, and if arrested not prosecuted, and if prosecuted not convicted, and if convicted not sentenced, and if sentenced, not to jail, and if sentenced to jail, it would be a really nice jail.

      1. Conjecture at best. Show me a picture of that actually happening. That being said, prisons for profit continues to be a driving force in the marijuana argument. Back to the basics; The government should stop arresting innocent citizens.

      2. Thanks to marijuana I’ve got two good eyes.. Go to any real prison,, not Club Fed.. guess what no Billionaires.

      3. Trump’s daughter just got busted for pot in a NYC nightclub. I don’t expect she’ll be doing any hard time! Making America great again for privileged white people.

  11. Remember he was appointed by Trump who is a pragmatic medical supporter. Regardless of his past stance Sessions owes his prestine position
    to Trump….WHEN AN IDEA’S TIME HAS COME TO PASS NOT AN ARMY IN THE WORLD CAN STOP IT…….

  12. Senator Secessions has been a Southern State Drug Warrior all of his professional life, buying into the ” devils cabbage” mantra of the reefer madness era of American politics.
    While he stresses he will enforce the law, it is time we the people must demand and end to this old racist law and demand better of our elected officials who still support this old racist law of oppression. The sick and suffering deserve to have safe access https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4el6EGqcUw and our Veterans have earned the right to use this plant to ease their pain and suffering http://www.veteransforcompassionatecare.org Let us all have hope for common sense to lead the way forward out of prohibition.

  13. I don’t see anything that sessions said that would lead me to believe that he changed his stance.He is just like Trump. A liar. I am concerned for our industry.

  14. The final line of the article states “…he must bring his views in line with the majority of the population…”; this is totally false and that’s A GOOD THING. His job is to enforce federal law and uphold the constitution. That means that despite his personal feelings on cannabis he is obligated to uphold the law. There is a problem still obviously due to the schedule I class so our lawmakers or the DEA have some work to do to bring the law into the 21st century.

    1. That’s true,, Drug War III was authorized by the voters. We’ll never have federal legalization without electing a majority favorable in Congress. It’s going to be a rough 4 years.. Trump will no doubt pack the courts with judges that make Chris Christie look like Willie Nelson.
      I also expect the Republican Congress to pass a law saying Marijuana can NEVER be rescheduled or legalized federally.

      1. It’s not funny, but sometimes I have to laugh at the absurdity of the shit prohibitionists say. Before legalization, prohibitionists would say, “If you don’t like the laws, change them.” But once we reached a point where we were actually able to do that, suddenly it became “It’s illegal, and it’s also illegal to legalize it.” Remember the whole Federalist argument?

        We made it legal anyway.

        Now we’re about to go back to “I un-legalize your marijuana; and I re-illegalize marijuana legalization.”

        Yeah, but I’m rubber and you’re glue, and… oh, never mind. This is so stupid and childish! Except these children are about to be President and Attorney General!

        There will be widespread civil disobedience when this shit comes down. People ain’t going to quit smoking marijuana for Trump and Sessions. I say let’s organize and formalize that “disobedience” and shove it in their cracker-ass faces.

  15. OMG he LAUGHED at a question about Marijuana. LAUGHED. People on this site are still crying about Obama laughing off a petition 7 years ago.. You would of thought Obama was proposing something outlandish,, like,, maybe the Death Penalty for Marijuana trafficking or something….

  16. He will enforce the law as long as there is a law. He said Congress will have to change the law for him not to enforce. HE DOES NOT support the Federal legalization of marijuana. He was merely explaining why he will prosecute these cases when confirmed even in medical cases(only thing he was asked about). A billion dollar industry and the committee asked a few softball questions with no follow-ups. Ridiculous.

  17. The only thing positive I see is a Republican Senator Lee from Utah grilling Sessions on marijuana, Federalism and states rights. They should have thrown in that Trump defended states rights on the issue of marijuana (even if his word means nothing). This is critical to pressure Sessions on states rights because staynch conservatives like Sessions try to hide behind a cloak of standing up for states rights, say they dont want the federal government interfering in our personal lives, and yet when it comes to marijuana and asset forfeitures Sessions will be all too happy to use Federal law to step all over state law.
    Keep contacting your Senators. Its working.

    1. CALL… Call your Senators. That way they have to listen or not answer. That’s what redial is for. 🙂

  18. Congress has made the possession in every state and distribution an illegal act. If that’s something that’s not desired any longer Congress should pass a law to change the rule.
    This statement scares me.
    Look for the peoples will to be violated!

    1. One of the rubs of course, regarding Sessions’ comments about enforcing the law and congress having the ability to change the law on pot legalization is that the GOP is firmly in control of the House. It would be a truly astounding thing if the GOP-controlled House were to vote to legalize.

      I suspect that won’t happen anytime soon; perhaps it will occur sometime after Hell freezes over. These are weird times in which we’re living.

  19. Trump is a big bullshitter, and he’ll go back on what he said in an instant if it pleases him, and I don’t trust anything he says or anyone he appoints. I’ll believe Trump is for legalization after it happens at the federal level.

    We need bipartisan federal legislation to legalize cannabis banking and to remove cannabis from the prohibitionist Schedule. Congress needs a big fucking kick in the ass!

    1. I was feeling the same thing today… Congress needs a good @$$ whoopin. A pull-off-the-belt-and-pull-down-the-pants @$$ WHOOPIN!!

  20. If you want want to get the point across, why don’t you gather a few thousand supporters in Colorado and symbolically arrest DEA offices for liars and human rights violations such as smoking a god given plant ..,

  21. Article 4 Section 1 of the United States Constitution says: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.”

    Since after watching Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing, Congress has obviously decided to use the same tactics they have used since the birth of prohibition instituted by Congress in 1937 which has politically been used drag out through the policies of a failed drug war to confiscate property from genuinely sick people, state by state, while ignoring state acts, records, judicial proceedings, and the fact that these enforcement actions are nothing more than “death squads” formulated by local police swat teams to register patients as offenders and fill the courts and jails with disease and death.

    1. Here’s hopin that Article IV Sec I will allow California to delay the federal crack down until Democrats get organized into Congress 2018

  22. We need to get Congress moving on changing the law. That way he’ll have no choice but to allow states to legalize.

  23. He’s your typical politician,he talks out of both sides of his mouth,& I don’t trust him!!!

  24. Let’s review: Obama gets elected, hires Holder, promises to reform pot laws, laughs at us and raids more dispensaries than W, effecting almost 2 million arrests for pot before being re-elected. Keeps Holder, still laughs at us, still promises to reform pot laws, still arrests nearly 2 million more for pot before leaving office.

    Yeah, this Sessions guy is gonna be a real setback.

    If NORML hadn’t carried Obama’s water and given him a pass for the past 8 hears, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. That’d the real outrage.

    1. If you haven’t noticed the widespread marijuana legalization that has occurred under the Obama administration’s two terms, then you’re not trying; or maybe you’ve been living on the moon.

      If you’re saying Sessions will continue to show the same kind of tolerance toward the cannabis industry as Obama has, then I think you’re in denial. And when you say that NORML is “the real outrage” here, well — frankly, I have to wonder if you are simply out of your freakin’ mind.

      Perhaps unyielding partisanship has clouded your judgement. Hmmm?

      1. I’ve noticed everything that Obama has done for pot: I listed the more salient points in my comment.

        Perhaps your unyielding partisan feelings for Obama has clouded your judgment. Of course, things might look different from your moon-based vantage point.

        When Obama was first elected, our drug policy reform ‘leaders’ told us to be patient (and, of course, to keep the donations flowing); he had bigger fish to fry in his first term. He’d get around to it in his second term, which was Ethan Nadelmann’s mantra. You know, the same Ethan Nadelmann paid $250K a year to go easy on Obama’s dismal drug record.

        Obama has 6 days left to do the right thing. And when he doesn’t, Ethan Nadelmann should be embarrassed, in not ashamed. Soros played him like a cheap violin.

        And should Trump actually do as he’s often said; leaving pot to the states, I don’t believe I’ll be the only one cheering him on – and calling for Ethan et al. to shut up and go home.

      2. Fine, milk your contrived resentments for another few days, then shut the hell up yourself, because President Obama is no longer the issue, as he himself recently stated very plainly in his Rolling Stone interview — he’s in lame duck status. Not that he ever had any cooperation from the Republicans! Obama is no longer the issue. Who you gonna hate on in six days?

      3. Congress makes the laws. Executive orders can be replaced, as Trump will do. The Judicial branch follows the laws Congress creates. The best thing that happened to state marijuana legalization was President Obama’s decision to send the Cole memo’s to tell the DOJ to stay the hell out of the way of state legalization. Otherwise, you would not have any state legalization to make snide partisan comments about.
        It will take calling and meeting ALL our Congressman, state and federal, to push back a Sessions confirmation and triumph with legalization. People like you who divide us with trivial and inaccurate statements are part of the problem, not the solution. Please educate yourself on how to use your vote and voice to move ANY Congressman, and work with anyone from any perspective and belief to achieve this goal. Unity and Education to promote state legalization laws in 2017 and federal legalization laws in 2018 Congressional elections are the keys to successful legalization. Attacking any President is a decoy and a waste of resources.

    2. While President Obama graciously had the Cole memos step out of the way for state marijuana law, Trump appointed Sessions. Now watch Republican Representative Rand Paul, KY, and Senator Jeff Flake, AZ, and every Libertarian that always told us they would stand up for States Rights and keep the Feds out of our personal lives Flake the fuck out and betray every Libertarian voter that ever thought they were backing a marijuana legalization movement.

  25. Apparently a little truth-telling and honest criticism of NORML doesn’t make it passed the moderator.

  26. Sessions really is a nice man. You really want to like this southern gentleman.

    My impression is that he knows he has been bombarded by the marijuana community since he was announced. I would imagine he has received most of his objections from this source. So Sessions, not wanting to make any mistakes played it well. I think he would really like to crack down, but he has bigger problems to deal with and Trump may realize that marijuana consumers backed him and expect states rights and personal liberty. Trump has Sessions because of his support. These two have the same crazy hypocritical false morality. The only difference is Sessions hides behind religion and Trump hides behind his brand and ego.

    Sessions probably will go after shady personal grows, unprofessional dispensaries, and legal-illegal state to state transfers. He leaves the door open so that he has full reign; but the more I think about, and with Trumps son in law in MMJ, the administration is likely going to be supportive. Plus the other big key is Israel. Israel is arguably the leading MMJ country with coming exports cited. A closer tie with Israel, which seems coming, will put MMJ as a focus for the two countries if Trump plays this business card. And we know from recent reports, CA largest crop by far, and remember CA is an agricultural state, is marijuana. Trump could unite the country and get an economic made in the USA boost by looking to expand MMJ, but also offer more regulations like bland packaging for edibles with childproof containers. If Trump goes down this road, and he does not deport good people, and makes peace with the Muslim community, does not upset our allies, makes peace with enemies like Russia, then he could get 8 years.

    Let’s see…

    1. Trump and Sessions: both are against legalized marijuana. If that weren’t true, then Trump would have spoken publicly during the Sessions hearings, and he would have made it clear to the public during the Sessions hearings, that he was not going to let Sessions shut down legal marijuana.

      But he didn’t, did he?

      No, instead, he congratulated Duterte for killing drug users and dealers on the spot, without trial or jury! That’s what Trump wants. He likes torture. He thinks waterboarding doesn’t go far enough! Any of that make you feel any better? Not me!

      More basically, if Trump were for legal marijuana, he wouldn’t have nominated Sessions for USAG in the first place! Now would he?

      Anyone who says Trump will keep Sessions on a leash is just kidding themselves at this point.

  27. After 10 years of watching you people whine and get nothing done. Just LOL at how you are surprised at this.

      1. it is revolutionary what has been done. I just hope Sessions and others like Lepage do not try and influence Trump to take the good ol boy approach and just agree by default, like a businessman, because of what his potential buddies want.

    1. Nothng done?

      Marijuana is now legal in
      Alaska
      California
      Colorado
      District of Columbia
      Maine
      Massachusetts
      Nevada
      Oregon
      Washington

      Some form of medical use is permitted in
      Alabama CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Alaska Medical Marijuana Law
      Arizona Medical Marijuana Law
      Arkansas Medical Marijuana Law
      California Medical Marijuana Law
      Colorado Medical Marijuana Law
      Connecticut Medical Marijuana Law
      Delaware Medical Marijuana Law
      District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Law
      Florida Medical Marijuana Law
      Florida CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Georgia CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Hawaii Medical Marijuana Law
      Illinois Medical Marijuana Law
      Iowa CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Kentucky CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Louisiana Medical Marijuana Law
      Maine Medical Marijuana Law
      Maryland Medical Marijuana Law
      Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Law
      Michigan Medical Marijuana Law
      Minnesota Medical Marijuana Law
      Mississippi CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Missouri CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Montana Medical Marijuana Law
      Nevada Medical Marijuana Law
      New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Law
      New Jersey Medical Marijuana Law
      New Mexico Medical Marijuana Law
      New York Medical Marijuana Law
      North Carolina CBD Specific Marijuana Law
      North Dakota Medical Marijuana Law
      Ohio Medical Marijuana Law
      Oklahoma CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Oregon Medical Marijuana Law
      Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law
      Puerto Rico Medical Marijuana Law
      Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Law
      South Carolina CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Tennessee CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Texas CBD-Specific Marijuana Law (Non-Functional)
      Utah CBD-Specific Marijuana Law
      Vermont Medical Marijuana Law
      Alabama CBD-Specific Marijuana Law

  28. At a time when the heroin epidemic rages on, this guy wants to spend money going after marijuana.

    Perverse.

  29. Ok, I’m against sessions too. Not because of fear of racial prejudice, but fear of how he’ll handle the legalization issue. But, Sessions does make a good point. He doesn’t get to choose what laws are enforced and that if Congress wants him to lay off Marijuana, they should do something about it. Well? Isn’t it about time for that now? Let us put our efforts into changing the law at the federal level. The attorney general is simply the arm that enforces the laws. Let’s get organized.

    [Paul Armentano responds: I make this same point in my op-ed in The Hill here: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/313768-sessions-leaves-door-open-for-marijuana-crackdown

    Rather than leaving this decision solely up to the discretion of the incoming attorney general, members of Congress should take this opportunity to move expeditiously to amend federal law in a manner that comports with public and scientific consensus, as well as with marijuana’s rapidly changing cultural and legal status.

    Until that day happens, the incoming administration and its Justice Department ought to respect America’s long-established principles of federalism and heed the advice former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis, who famously opined, “ state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”]

    1. At very least this nomination is serving to educate people about the priority of voting for Congress. (Well, except for somedoods… they just dont get it). Too many Anericans already fail to educate ourselves on Congress and VOTE and NORML has a freakin Congressional Scorecard already!
      This is an administration that would like to distract us from outrageous failures to comply with the law by saying “that was a joke,” or by poiting at Russia during the most corrupt vote on record.
      Quite frankly, between this and the way that the DNC is pointing the finger at Russia instead of voicing up the real scandal of 7 million suppressed US votes (by allowing Trump supporters to eliminate Democratic majority votes whose names are the same as Democratic felons in other states, for example) or the 50 illegally registered Trump electors (registering outside their district of residence while serving in another political office while being a registered elector)… The fact is that our Democratic Republic has been officially captured by international corporate conglamorates and oligarchs with no sovereignty in any nation but the island of interest, debt and profit from which rules our Congress and currency. Defense Contracts and asset forfeitures are an international business, and Northrup Grummand donates to EVERY Senator, even Bernie Sanders. It took courage for Senator Booker to do what he did today, even if he didnt come right out and say the “m” word. Too bad Senator Rand Paul didnt have the balls to stand up with Senator Booker. That was real cool when they DID work together on reducing mandatory minimums. What happened Senators Flake and Paul? Flaked out? Dropped the ball Paul? Now its ok for Libertarians to let a Federal AG Sessions intrude in our daily lives?

      1. Leafly reports that Senator Paul did stick up for legalization and states rights:

        “12:55 — While on break, let’s quickly tip our hats to US Sen. Rand Paul. In an interview Monday with the Washington Post, the Republican from Kentucky said he tried to explain to Sessions that defending states’ rights would mean allowing cannabis legalization to proceed. Did it stick? “Many conservatives believe in leaving states to themselves for the most part,” Paul said. “Decisions like legalizing marijuana should be left up to states. I’ve had that discussion with Sessions. I can’t characterize what he said, but I hope he won’t interfere with legalization. He needs to answer that himself.” This is not reassuring.”

        What that means in “I hope” is “let me offer lip service while I vote for Sessions.” Libertarians should be seeing the wolf under the sheep’s clothing by now, I “hope.”

  30. In the past, did congress have waived their authority on the marijuana issue and gave it the DEA and the FDA? For some reason it is still remained number one classification on the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. The DEA were just only told to stand down on certain states. That is how I remembered it.

  31. He is a politician,ie; lie thru your teeth and/ or sell your momma to get the job. I suspect he will use draconian methods against the states. Most cops I know are glad they don’t have to mess with pot except for drivers and other dumb asses.

  32. Then we have governors, law enforcement, and other politicians and prosecutors probably, other state AGs who now will lobby Sessions perhaps to enforce. Maybe Rosenburg and the DEA. Typical, but I’ll wager this is coming as well, smh.

  33. Having lived in Alabama most of my life I understand the worldview of Sessions and his ilke. Make no mistake, they view themselves as the adults in our society and will play the role of the parents returning early from their vacation to set the partying kids straight in “THIER” house. Good people, as they define it, means people exactly like them.

  34. I think Chris Christie put it more succinctly,
    ““If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it,”

    “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws,”

    1. They try a stunt like to try to re-illegalize marijuana in the states that legalized… it’ll probably end up in some large scale federal case, which the states which did legalize, will sue the Government. Then they will have no other choice then to either legalize federally, or make it once again illegal throughout the country. I do not believe Sessions wants that, so he’ll probably just try to keep other states from doing so in the future.

  35. The only way MJ is going to become legal at the federal level is if We The People organize a militia big and strong enough to show them that our liberties are not up for negotiation. Our founders didn’t negotiate with tyranny over liberty, they raised up arms and fought for liberty. Tyrants never relinquish power until the sword is held at their throat. Liberty’s worth fighting for and liberty’s worth dying for.

    1. Be careful what you wish for, Jason. “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth and we’ll all be blind and toothless.” What if we all voted and called our Senators? ALL of us?

    2. I agree with Julian. Don’t be too quick to call for death, the men with assault rifles won’t mind at all.

      There is another option: it’s called Civil Disobedience. Think of Cornell William Brooks, President of NAACP, who, along with several others, deliberately got himself arrested for protesting Sessions office in Alabama.

      “We all are aware of the laws of trespass. We are engaging in a voluntary act of civil disobedience,” Brooks told the officers who arrived at the scene.”

      It’s still important to continue to contact our Elected Officials, and to hold them accountable as best we can. But unless we can change the trajectory of our society at the moment, Civil Disobedience may well become our most powerful tool.

  36. I believe it has probably been said before, but this Sessions guy I believe is way behind the times. When he uses terms like, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He’s even further behind. Great people use marijuana, and some are pretty smart. Bill Gates smoked when he was young. For all we know, he still tokes up from time to time. It is hard to say anything bad about our now former president, whom did smoke when he was young. And then other presidents also used marijuana. Real people know it isn’t a bad drug. The laws are what is bad, not Pot.

    My Two Cents.

  37. Sessions is really getting hammered for his racist past. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO0v6gQ-xBI This kind sweet gentleman act is a front for a very distorted human being; and it seems a lot are seeing thru his jeckle and hide sham.

    Anyway you grind it, this would-be drug warrior — on a mission to save humanity from the devil weed — gets confirmed he will be so scrutinized during his tenure that he will not be able to get away with much. Forget stopping this guy to protect pot, Sessions as USAG will no doubt stoke the black lives matter fires, rather than be an advocate for protecting poc from getting their lives ruined by an unfair and corrupt criminal justice system. Most possession busts are poc; why is this holy saint not talking about fixing this problem? This reason alone will hopefully keep Sessions from getting the job. But the scary thing is, who might else get picked? No doubt another Batman villain. Personally, Sessions, with his phony moral high ground persona and tainted past, not to mention the stereo type of a southern master, will no doubt cripple his USAG tenure to the point that he will be criticized for just about every move he makes. And this could be wonderful cover for the marijuana community from getting crackdown, but HORRIBLE for criminal justice reform.

  38. In my opinion, Jeff’s outlook on Marijuana comes from living in the heart of Dixie. In Alabama, The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners tells doctors how many pain pill the doctors can prescribe for each ailment and then keep the doctors under a microscope with the threat of loosing their license should they prescribe more. This attitude toward the sick and dying in Alabama may very well be the new National outlook on any and all medications the may help sick and dying Americans pursue happiness. The Heart of Dixie is the Coldest Heart in the Nation when it comes to the sick and dying. Maybe Donald Trump can instill some compassion for the sick and dying in Mr. Session’s Dixie Heart.

    1. For compassion, almost anybody would make a better role model for Sessions than Donald Trump. I would bet money that most felons have more compassion for other people, than Donald Trump. Let’s set our sights a bit higher, shall we?

      1. @ Greg deF,
        But I do applaud your compassion and concern for the sick and dying. I mean to be supportive, not combative, on that point. I just don’t see Trump as being capable of providing any moral or ethical guidance. That’s all I meant.

  39. “[…] it is not the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce.”

    It is however the AG’s job to determine Justice’s priorities, and it is also quite explicitly the AG’s statutory responsibility to determine which substances get moved into or out of which schedules.

  40. When the little piss ant drops the hammer on us I wonder if we will get a warning first or if we just happen to be at one of the mj businesses and the dea storms in too bad? Wow!

    1. Cat Cassie, that’s exactly what I expect to happen, unless Congress suddenly grows a pair! That’s what happened in Montana — about a year or so back, as I recall — the DEA had an opening, the dispensaries were legally vulnerable during a few months window (check stopthedrugwar.org news archives for the exact details on the Montana medical cannabis saga, I’m going from memory here), and… yeah. DEA went right in and starting cuffing people and setting them down on the curb. Walking out with weed and computers.

      I can’t imagine what Colorado state officials overseeing the cannabis program must be thinking right now, other than maybe federal prison, and the many thousands of pounds of weed sales they’ve participated in! They had better start fighting for us medical patients, now that they have skin in the game too!

  41. Once everyone is states legal and federally illegal,whats to prevent the feds from confiscating our property and use it to settle our debt with China.

    1. What if China saw the value in world cannabis legalization in order to regulate a more secure way to return American debt?

  42. Come on guys its over. I watched his answers and it seemed similar to Obama administration. Trump spokesperson reaffirmed he was committed with marijuana to what he promised in his campaign. Its apparent with all the momentum that it is here to stay. It has reached a point where it is political suicide to come out against it. Good work fighting the fight though.

    1. Ordinarily I’m trying to burst the balloons of those on this blog who engage in what I consider to be wishful thinking about a Trump administration’s likelihood of going easy on legal marijuana.

      But in this case — hang on, buddy! Don’t despair! It’s not over! There is still so much good work that needs to be done, now more than ever, and we need YOUR help!

      NOW MORE THAN EVER!

  43. It’s unfortunate Sessions obviously comes from the era where lies about cannabis became “truth” and in this policy lives and families have been ripped apart and destroyed.
    I hope that Norml and supporters will take the movement to big boy pants instead of the childish flame wars online. The negative nancy behavior will hit nothing but rejection from law makers and law enforcement.
    One of things under Trump admin is peace through strength… so he wants a pitbull as a AG…if its not Sessions he will put someone like Chris Christie ..yeah its his friend but that guy has a poor opinion towards cannabis also.
    This idea that cannabis wont ever be legal federally is a further from the truth.
    There is a big push right now for medicine better than pain killers and other medicine.
    We need facts. Look at the Israeli pharma pushing medical solutions that is cannabis.
    It’s sad California had to add a tax to get state legalized.
    We pay too much in taxes already.
    People have to snap outta this racist garbage and bitching we just have to come together and leave the kids table.(racist doesn’t mean white person)
    Sessions has a weakness if he steps outta line or makes Trump look bad he will get 86’d.
    It’s time to come together as a nation.
    Cannabis is medicine if you have a problem with it don’t touch the stuff plain and simple.

    1. Trump and Sessions both look bad — on marijuana, on civil liberties, on race, on gay rights — you name a cause for social justice, and both Trump and Sessions look bad.

      Sessions makes Sessions look bad, and Trump makes Trump look bad. You can’t wipe shit on shit.

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