Sessions Rescinds Cole Memo

Jeff Sessions Marijuana Comments at House Judiciary Committee
AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Associated Press reported this morning that sources within the Justice Department indicate Attorney General Jeff Sessions intends to rescind the Obama-era Cole memo today.

“The people familiar with the plan spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it before an announcement expected Thursday,” reported AP. “The move by President Donald Trump’s attorney general likely will add to confusion about whether it’s OK to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where pot is legal, since long-standing federal law prohibits it. It comes days after pot shops opened in California, launching what is expected to become the world’s largest market for legal recreational marijuana and as polls show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal.”


The Cole memo, written in 2013 by then Deputy Attorney General James Cole, directed U.S. attorneys throughout the country to refrain from using federal resources to prosecute cannabis cases in states that had legalized it for medical use. The memo includes specific requirements states are required to comply with in order to invoke its protections. Sessions has long complained that Cole memo requirements are regularly being violated.

The Hill reported that it corroborated the report broken by the AP.


As anticipated, AG Sessions has rescinded the Cole memo in a memo dated today and addressed to all United States Attorneys. The memo can be read here.