President-Elect Trump’s pick for Attorney General – Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions – testified before Congress last week as part of his confirmation process. The hearing probably got the most media attention of any of Trump’s cabinet picks, and for brief moments the discussion turned to the topic of cannabis legalization.
“I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law, , but absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government,” Sessions said. “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.”
Depending on your political bent, your hopes, or whatever other criteria you use for making political predictions, you can get just about anything out of that statement. Some in the cannabis community focus on the resources part while others focus on the fact that he didn’t slam the door on enforcing prohibition.
Robert Capecchi, Director of Federal Policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, chose to look at the bright side. Capecchi said 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,” Capecchi continued. “He was given the opportunity to take an extreme prohibitionist approach and he passed on it.”
The bottom line is, only time will tell. I know that is an unsatisfying answer for many reading this; it is for me as well. But at a certain point we have to admit to ourselves that we really don’t know what’s going to happen. Say what you will about Donald Trump, but I think we can all agree that he is unpredictable and does pretty much as he pleases. How far that extends and what direction it will take is anyone’s guess.