A day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions touched down in the Lone Star State calling for the resurrection of the infamous (and ineffective) D.A.R.E. program, the head of the Justice Department showed up in Las Vegas, Nevada to further discuss getting tough on crime. But according to NBC-affiliate KSNV, Sessions, who is no friend to the marijuana legalization movement, remained completely silent about the state’s newly established cannabis trade.
Ever since Sessions was put in charge of the Department of Justince in Washington D.C., he and his cronies on the Hill have given every indication that changes could be on the horizon for legal weed business being carried out across the United States.
Although Sessions has not come out and divulged plans to rip the cannabis industry to shreds, he has mentioned his loyalty to enforcing “federal law” on a number of occasions.
During the Vegas meeting, Sessions touched on a wide range of topics from the opioid crisis to immigration, yet did not so much as comment on legal marijuana sales in Nevada.
Some folks, like cannabis attorney Phillip Silvestri, hope his silence means “there’s some direction from above that says ‘we’re not going to make [marijuana enforcement] a priority.”
But there are plenty of reasons to believe that Sessions’ day of indifference toward marijuana may just be the calm before the storm.
There has been speculation for the past several weeks that the attorney general is simply waiting for the results of a federal marijuana review before devising a definitive plan for dealing with states that have made cannabis legal. That report is due on his desk by the end of the month.
It is also suspected that Sessions is waiting to see whether Congress will honor his request to eliminate a medical marijuana protection known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment before launching a full-scale attack. If this happens, the entire scope of the cannabis industry will, once again, be left susceptible to a barrage of investigations, raids and prosecutions.
As it stands, there are no concrete laws on the books to protect legal marijuana states from feeling the wrath of federal enforcement. The Obama administration’s Cole memo and the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment are the only two “temporary” measures that have stopped the cannabis industry from being eaten alive by the dogs of the drug war.
Unfortunately, despite a growing number of states legalizing the leaf for medicinal and recreational purposes, there is still not enough support in Congress to pass laws that definitively protect the legal cannabis trade.
All of the marijuana-related legislation currently lingering in Congressional purgatory has only managed to secure a modest handful of co-sponsors. Simply put, not enough of our elected representatives are fighting for what more than 60 percent of the population has stated that it wants – for marijuana to be taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco.
Until Congress finally gets serious about doing something to give the cannabis industry its federally legitimate place in the grand scheme of American commerce, no marijuana business is truly safe.