Sessions did NOT commit to vigorously enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have adopted conflicting laws
Earlier in the day, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer signaled that Sessions would follow Trump’s lead on marijuana policy; Trump has said states should be able to establish their own marijuana laws
WASHINGTON — The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) has issued the statement below in response to comments about marijuana policy that were made during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Sen. Patrick Leahy asked Sessions whether he would use federal resources to enforce federal marijuana prohibition laws in states that have adopted laws allowing the use of medical marijuana. Sen. Mike Lee also asked the nominee a question about marijuana policy.
During an appearance earlier in the day on Fox News Channel, President-elect Donald Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer signaled that Sessions would adhere to Trump’s position that states should be able to establish their own marijuana policies. “When you come into a Trump administration, it’s the Trump agenda you’re implementing and not your own,” he said. “I think Senator Sessions is well aware of that.”
Statement from MPP Director of Federal Policies Robert Capecchi:
“It is notable that Sen. Sessions chose not to commit to vigorously enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have reformed their marijuana laws. He also recognized that enforcing federal marijuana laws would be dependent upon the availability of resources, the scarcity of which poses a problem. He was given the opportunity to take an extreme prohibitionist approach and he passed on it.
“It's also promising that Donald Trump’s spokesperson said earlier in the day that the next attorney general would follow the president-elect’s lead on the issue. President-elect Trump has made it clear that he supports states’ rights to establish their own marijuana policies. Considering both Sen. Sessions and Mr. Spicer's comments, we remain cautiously optimistic that the incoming administration will continue the current policy of not interfering with individuals and entities acting in compliance with state marijuana laws.”
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Founded in 1995, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is the nation’s leading cannabis policy reform organization. MPP has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful cannabis legalization campaigns, and also works to advance federal reforms.