This quote from AG Sessions is the smartest thing he’s said on cannabis so far. Despite his well-established loathing for marijuana, Sessions here indicates respect for the Cole Memo, though it remains to be seen whether he will uphold the Memo in its entirety. The Cole Memo is an internal Department of Justice memo outlining how the Department should proceed in enforcing federal law in state-legal cannabis states. It reveals the DOJ’s tue priorities when it comes to marijuana, such as preventing distribution to minors, preventing revenue from marijuana sales from going to cartels and other criminal enterprises, and preventing marijuana possession and use on federal property.
Sessions still has an irrational hatred of cannabis as in the same interview where he talked of upholding the Cole Memo, he launched into the following diatribe:
I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.
Here’s the thing. How Jeff Sessions personally feels about cannabis should be irrelevant. The truth is that the majority of states have chosen to legalize cannabis and the voice of those people should be respected. There are plenty of people who do not think it wise to consume cannabis, yet still believe (for all sorts of reasons) that it should be legal. We can respect that as a personal choice. Is it possible that as much as Sessions hates cannabis that he realizes that the voice of the people and legal consistency and fairness and justice and, yes, states rights, should trump (pun only sort of intended) that?
Time will tell.