Jeff Sessions, usually eager to eschew his anti-marijuana views, was notably silent on the issue while being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt.
Marijuana patients and industry members were shocked when Jeff Sessions was appointed as the United States Attorney General. The former U.S. Senator from Alabama has garnered a reputation for making disparaging comments against marijuana users. As attorney general he has made it clear that he’d like to dismantle the marijuana industry.
But in an uncharacterist move, he turned down an opportunity to weigh in on marijuana enforcement while speaking with noted conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Thursday.
“I can’t comment on the existence of an investigation at this time,” Sessions said while answering a question from Hewitt.
But Sessions has not exactly flipped his views on the issue of marijuana.
“I do not believe there is any argument that because a state legalizes marijuana that the federal law against marijuana is no longer existence,” he said. “I do believe that the federal laws clearly are in effect in all 50 states and we will do our best to enforce the laws as we are required to do so.”
Hewitt seemdd to be trying to dig deeper into what Sessions is really planning in regards to targeting the marijuana industry.
“A lot of states are just simply breaking the law,” Hewitt said. “A lot of money is being made and banked. One RICO prosecution of one producer and the banks that service them would shut this all down. Is such a prosecution going to happen?”
While an interesting hypothetical question likely designed to test Sessions’ reaction, it was not an entirely accurate statement from Hewitt. Few banks are willing to do business with marijuana companies, one of the most well-known issues for the industry. A RICO case involving many companies in the marijuana industry does not seem likely.
I don’t know that one prosecution would be quite as effective as that,” Sessions replied. “We will analyze all those cases and I can’t comment on the existence of an investigation at this time. I hear you. You’re making a suggestion. I hear it. You’re lobbying.”
Later Thursday, at a Heritage Foundation event, Sessions dug up one of the greatest hits for failed federal drug policy, Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign.”We’ve got to reestablish first a view that you should say no. People should say no to drug use,” he said. “This whole country needs to be not so lackadaisical about drugs… Much of the addiction starts with marijuana. It’s not a harmless drug.”
Sessions’ reluctance to speak on a marijuana crackdown seems strange. Perhaps it has to do with new polls showing record support for marijuana, with even a slight majority of his own Republican party supporting reform. Or is something else going on?