The cannabis industry has been in a state of panic over recent comments by the Trump Administration suggesting a forthcoming crackdown on the recreational marijuana industry, but it seems the potential threat of federal interference may have been blown out of proportion, according to a report from Politico.
Republican members of Congress have gone on record to say that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has conveyed to them in private plans to adhere to former President Obama’s hands off approach to legal marijuana.
“He told me he would have some respect for states' right on these things. And so I’ll be very unhappy if the federal government decides to go into Colorado and Washington and all of these places,” said Senator Rand Paul. “And that’s not the [what] my interpretation of my conversation with him was. That this wasn’t his intention.”
Despite the fact that the White House told reporters last week to expect “greater enforcement” when it comes to recreational marijuana, Senator Corey Gardner of Colorado says he has not heard any news from the administration to suggest that major changes are coming.
“He was talking about if there’s cartels involved in illegal operations, they’re going to crack down on that,” Gardner said. “That’s what everybody’s saying. I still haven’t heard Jeff Sessions say that, “there's a big policy change coming. We obviously want to make sure we're clear on what they’ve said."
Still, no one has any true idea what Sessions has in store for legal weed in the near future. It is for this reason that a group of Congressional figures, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Lisa Murkowski, fired off a letter this week to the new Attorney General asking him to allow states the freedom to make their own determination on legal weed.
“We respectfully request that you uphold DOJ’s existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational marijuana use,” the senators wrote in the letter. “It is critical that states continue to implement these laws.”
Senator Murkowski told Politico that she was not yet concerned about Sessions saying it is “a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not,” but she is continuing to monitor the Department of Justice.
"It's probably a little premature to try to predict what may or may not be coming out of the administration on this, so I think we just need to sit back and see," she said.