From the very moment that Donald Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as United States Attorney General, the cannabis industry was sent into a state of panic. The former Alabama senator and accused racist has long been one of the staunchest opponents to legalization.
On Tuesday, during a speech at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, the attorney general expressed disbelief that the country doesn’t share his outdated and draconian views on cannabis. Sessions’ remarks were shared at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Division Midyear Conference.
"When they nominated me for attorney general, you would have thought the biggest issue in America was when I said, ‘I don’t think America’s going to be a better place if they sell marijuana at every corner grocery store. (People) didn’t like that; I’m surprised they didn’t like that,” Sessions said to the crowd.
Sessions also expressed gratitude towards Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for meeting with him at the White House to discuss cannabis legislation, adding “many people are hiding under the table whenever the issue is discussed.” Although the state currently has a medical marijuana system in place, Arizona fell short of recreational legalization in the November election.
Outside of his relentless anti-marijuana rhetoric, Sessions touched on his anti-immigration policy, enlarging the military budget, and keeping service members and veterans protected.
Since joining the ranks of Trump’s unsettling and seedy cabinet, Sessions has likened cannabis use to heroin addiction, vaguely threatened to enforce a federal crackdown on legal states, and recently put together a task force to help him figure out how to deal with both violent crime and marijuana policy.
But last week, four governors from states with recreational legalization sent a letter to Sessions and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, urging them to leave cannabis policy to the individual states. With even state governments starting to come to the aid of marijuana, Sessions seems flabbergasted that more people don’t share his unpopular view.
Mr. Attorney General, it's about time you stop the baseless rhetoric and acknowledge the immense benefits that legalization has brought forth.