The announcement of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as President-Elect Trump’s nominee for the post of U.S. Attorney General sent shockwaves through the cannabis community today.
“Jeff Sessions is a drug war dinosaur, which is the last thing the nation needs now,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Those who counted on Donald Trump’s reassurance that marijuana reforms ‘should be a state issue’ will be sorely disappointed. And not just Democrats but the many Republicans as well who favor rolling back the war on drugs had better resist this nomination.”
"It was the prevention movement that really was so positive, and it led to this decline,” Jeff Sessions once said. “The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it cannot be played with, it is not funny, it's not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don't smoke marijuana.”
The Drug Policy Alliance has already launched an effort to convince U.S. Senators to vote against confirming Sessions as AG.
Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority tried to find a ray of light in the darkening clouds. "While the choice certainly isn't good news for marijuana reform, I'm still hopeful the new administration will realize that any crackdown against broadly popular laws in a growing number of states would create huge political problems they don't need and will use lots of political capital they'd be better off spending on issues the new president cares a lot more about,” he said.
"A clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and supermajorities across party lines believe that states should be able to implement their own cannabis laws without federal interference. The truth is, marijuana reform is much more popular with voters than most politicians are, and officials in the new administration would do well to take a careful look at the polling data on this issue before deciding what to do.
“During the campaign the president-elect clearly pledged to respect state marijuana laws, and he should keep his word -- both because it’s the right thing to do and because a reversal would be a huge political misstep.”
That sums up what many are feeling today; we are hoping for the best while bracing for the worst.