Former U.S Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of students earlier this week that he believes the current attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has an “almost obsession with marijuana.”
In a recent discussion at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Holder, who served as the AG under President Obama, criticized Sessions for seemingly plotting to destroy every policy pertaining to federal government's position on marijuana, including the 2013 Cole Memo, which has allowed legalization to take place all across the nation with minimal interference by the Justice Department.
"I think that was a really good policy," Holder said, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. "The Sessions almost obsession with marijuana I think is the thing that's put the Justice Department in this strange place."
Sessions has spent the majority of his time in office threatening the marijuana community about how his Justice Department, which includes the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), is coming for them.
In addition to pressuring Congress earlier this year in an attempt to get them to stop supporting a popular medical marijuana protection known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, sources close to the Sessions have suggested that he may be looking to rescind (or at least amend) the Cole Memo.
However, Holder told those in attendance of the lecture on Tuesday that the Cole Memo is a reasonable policy that has allowed states to explore the concept of legal marijuana without calling off the dogs of the federal government completely.
“I think the policy we had in place was a good one: Let the states experiment with the notion that, again, we have these eight or nine federal factors and if you trigger one of these eight or nine factors the feds are going to be coming in,” Holder said.
It is worth pointing out that the cannabis community would not have to concern themselves with the threat of a federal crackdown if Eric Holder and President Obama would have worked together to downgrade the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant.
Instead, Obama maintained throughout his entire presidency that the marijuana issue, and the question of whether it should be made legal nationwide, was entirely up to Congress. While this is partly true, the Obama administration certainly could taken more steps to prevent the Trump’s Justice Department from threatening the sanctity of legal weed.