Fear and hysteria have been coursing through the veins of the American cannabis culture ever since the talking heads close to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested several months ago that we could see a federal marijuana “crackdown” in states that have legalized.
However, according to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the democrat running the show in one of the first states to make a taxed and regulated cannabis industry a part of statewide commerce, Sessions and his cronies in the Justice Department are not presently masterminding some vicious plot to tear down the progress of legal marijuana.
Speaking with Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman of Politico Playbook, earlier this week, Governor Hickenlooper said the attorney general was very “candid and direct,” when the two discussed how the federal government plans to proceed with respect to legal marijuana.
“He has higher priorities,” Hickenlooper said. “Marijuana is not the same threat to this country that heroin, methamphetamines, [and] cocaine. He recognizes that he has limited resources.”
But the cannabis industry might have some trouble making progress from this point forward.
Hickenlooper said that while Sessions told him that ‘we’re not going to come in a shut everything down,’ the Justice Department is not going to tolerate “any” expansion of the legalization movement.
[The Justice Department will not condone] “One more plant being grown in someone’s home” or “one more retail outlet,” Sessions apparently told Hickenlooper back in April. “And if we have to make an example of some companies or individuals… that’s what we’ll do.”
Yet, unlike the media has suggested ever since Sessions took the position as the nation’s leading law enforcement hammer, Hickenlooper does not believe a federal crackdown is on the horizon.
Earlier this year, the governor essentially gave MSNBC’s Chuck Todd the same run down of his meeting with Sessions.
"He didn't give me any reason to think that he is going to come down and suddenly try to put everyone out of business," Hickenlooper said.
Although the majority of the cannabis community might be safe from the wrath of federal drug enforcers, it is concerning that Trump’s administration wants to prevent legalization from becoming more widespread. However, the steps the Justice Department will take to prevent the industry from expanding is still a mystery.