Donald Trump’s Attorney General could hamper Marijuana Industry

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on November 25, 2016.

The US President-elect Donald Trump has preferred Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for the post of Attorney General. The vibrant marijuana industry in the country could be hampered if Sessions were confirmed as the top law enforcement official in the Trump administration.

Sessions, a Republican, is known for his racist remarks, anti-immigration reform stance and for his drug war-era rhetoric around drug policy. He has been a bitter critic of marijuana legalization. He has vehemently criticized the Obama administration’s approach to drug policy, including its tolerance of states where voters have approved the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes, or for both.

“Good people don't smoke marijuana", Sessions said during the Senate's Caucus on International Drug Control in April. He also pointed to the tenuous theory that marijuana is a gateway drug, and said, “you’ll see cocaine and heroin increase more than it would have."

"We need grown ups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger," Sessions said at the hearing.

Ironically, Trump has however stated that marijuana legalization should be decided "state-by-state”.

Meanwhile marijuana advocates are opposing Sessions’ nomination to Attorney General, where he would have power over U.S. drug policy. As attorney general, Sessions would be responsible for directing U.S. federal prosecutors on federal priorities and overseeing the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Aaron Herzberg, a California-based medical marijuana real estate company, believes Sessions will be bad for the industry. Likewise, Larry Cote, a partner with the law firm Quarles & Brady opined that he suspects Sessions will be a "strong opponent," within the Trump administration of "any efforts to legalize or re-schedule marijuana".

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