While the cannabis community is still waiting to hear whether newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his cronies over at the DEA will kick down their doors and force the industry to a screeching halt, there has been some new evidence to emerge that suggests the Trump Administration is only interested in going for the jugulars of the drug cartels – not legal marijuana.
In a recent interview with Capital Public Radio, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said he recently met with Attorney General Sessions to discuss several issues, including immigration and legal marijuana. The conversation, according to Sheriff Jones, suggests the Trump Administration is not going to impose a crackdown on the legal marijuana trade, but rather, aggressively hunt down and prosecute those with cartel connections.
"Regarding the prioritization of federal resources to combat marijuana, he didn't see the federal government getting involved in marijuana use or low-level state, what are traditionally state and local crimes, but, I don't think he ruled out the possibility of the federal government getting involved in larger-scale operations,” Jones said of his talk with Sessions.
This sentiment was reverberated last week by President Donald Trump during a meeting with the Major Cities Chiefs Association. In his speech, which was done in front of law enforcement officials all over the country, Trump said, “it’s time to stop the drugs from pouring into our country…and by the way, we will do that.” However, Trump made no mention of plans to crack the skulls of the legitimate cannabis trade operating in over half the nation.
If the statements made over the past week are any representation of what to expect from the Trump Administration with respect to legal marijuana, it is probably fair to say the Justice Department’s policy on this issue may not steer too far from that of the Obama Administration. But while Obama’s “hands off approach” to legal marijuana (Cole Memo) is still currently in play, Attorney General Sessions has been largely critical of this disposable policy. Therefore, it is also distinctly possible that we could see an updated memo in the coming months that clarifies the new administration’s position.
Until then, it’s business as usual.