If the American people are concerned with Republican Senator Jeff Sessions’ approach to implementing federal cannabis laws, he says Congress should adjust them. Sessions, who President-elect Donald Trump has chosen to become U.S. attorney general, answered questions on cannabis among other issues during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Sessions did not offer a clear stance on what cannabis enforcement would look like under his justice department. Sessions stated, “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, but absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government. Good judgement on how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine, which won’t be an easy decision, but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way.”
Even though 28 states have made medical cannabis legal and eight states have passed recreational laws, the federal law still classifies marijuana as an illegal substance. The drug is classified as a Schedule I drug along with heroin. In the past, Sessions has made it clear he is against the legalization of marijuana. He said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” However, in a Trump presidency, he would be asked to follow the Trump agenda and not his own. This gives the cannabis industry hope.
Almost 60% of Americans support the legalization of cannabis in the United States. The seven states that voted to legalize medical or recreational use are looking to take steps toward legalization. “It’s not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce. We should do our jobs and enforce laws effectively as we’re able. The U.S. Congress made the possession of marijuana in every state, and the distribution, an illegal act. If that’s something that’s not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule,” Sessions said during his hearing.
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