Looks like he could use a rip to us.

The Marijuana Industry Is Not Excited About an Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The senator once said that he had no problem with the KKK until he found out they smoked pot. Yikes.

The election of Donald Trump has sent many people into an emotional tailspin, but for those who support marijuana legalization, it’s been more of a roller-coaster. Yes, Trump is a member of the party that has generally be unkind to marijuana legalization; then again, since marijuana doesn’t contain the words “Muslim,” “Mexican” or “China,” he’s generally taken a very New York who-gives-a-shit attitude toward the drug.

So that was the upswing. Now for the big drop: By announcing this morning that Jeff Sessions will be his nominee for Attorney General, he has tapped for the top law enforcement official in America a man who once said that he had no problem with the KKK until he found out they smoked pot.

The hand-wringing has officially begun.

Ian Eisenberg, owner of Uncle Ike’s, says in an email that his major concerns rest on the Cole Memo, a Obama-era Department of Justice policy that, among other things, allowa state-regulated credit unions to do business with marijuana shops. Were the memo to get tossed out, which Sessions could do on day one, credit unions could face serious consequences for doing business with places that deal in federally banned substances.

“[I] Fear the Cole memo will change,” Eisenberg tells us. “We live in a fragile world and if Cole changed the Credit Unions we rely on would have to rethink everything. Salal let’s us operate like a regular business. Without it we would be cash based with no place to deposit funds and that would be beyond problematic.”

Plenty of national voices are weighing in, as well.

The Drug Policy Alliance, a pro-legalization group, put out this statement, in part, this morning:

Sessions, who once said that the Ku Klux Klan was, “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana,” has a track record of opposition to marijuana reform. Earlier this year, Sessions spoke out against marijuana legalization in a Senate hearing, and urged the government to send the message to the public that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He has also said in a separate hearing that marijuana cannot be safer than alcohol because, “Lady Gaga says she’s addicted to it and it is not harmless.” He is likely to use his power as Attorney General to close down state-legal marijuana and medical marijuana programs.

Sessions is also a proponent of harsh sentences for drug offenses. Sessions was the chief opponent of recent bipartisan efforts to reduce sentences for drug offenses, demagoguing that, “this proposal would provide for leniency for illegal alien drug traffickers,” and voting against the bill in the Judiciary Committee.

“Donald Trump’s decision heralds a return to the worst days of the drug war,” said Bill Piper, Senior Director of Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “Trump promised to ‘drain the swamp’ but he’s gone to the very bottom of the drug war barrel for this pick.”

That said, others are taking more of a wait-and-see approach. Writing to the Denver Westword, Marijuana Majority chairman and founder Tom Angell said this:

“While the choice certainly isn’t good news for marijuana reform, I’m still hopeful the new administration will realize that any crackdown against broadly popular laws in a growing number of states would create huge political problems they don’t need and will use lots of political capital they’d be better off spending on issues the new president cares a lot more about …. A clear majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana and super-majorities across party lines believe that states should be able to implement their own cannabis laws without federal interference. The truth is, marijuana reform is much more popular with voters than most politicians are, and officials in the new administration would do well to take a careful look at the polling data on this issue before deciding what to do.”

Hmm. We’re not sure if a Trump administration will be too interested in what the polls say. Smoke em if you got em, folks.

More in News & Comment

Maru Mora Villalpando stands outside of the Seattle Immigration Court after her first deportation hearing on March 15, 2018. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Anti-ICE Organizer Stands Defiant at Her Own Deportation Hearing

Hundreds gathered in support of Maru Mora-Villalpando outside of Seattle Immigration Court.

Suburban and Rural Students Join the Call for Gun Control

What the National School Walkout looked like outside of Seattle.

Garfield High School students stand in silence to protest gun violence. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Seattle Students Take Part in the National School Walkout

Garfield High School students pay tribute to the Parkland victims by rallying for gun control.

Issaquah will not be housing a supervised consumption site like the facilities found in Vancouver, B.C. Photo by Nicole Jennings
Reproductive rights marchers during the 2017 Seattle Pride Parade. Photo by Bobby Arispe Jr./Flickr
Seattle Abortion Providers Weigh in on Reproductive Parity Act

The newly passed state legislation will cover abortion services for private insurance holders.

A pro-immigrant sign at the 
                                2018 Women’s March in Seattle. 
Photo by David Lee/Flickr
Can Immigration Issues Be Fixed at the County Level?

King County establishes new commission to support immigrant and refugee communities.

Photo by Taylor McAvoy
No Longer Silent: Sexual Assault Survivors Push Legislative Change

Seeking systematic reforms, victims spoke up this legislative session.

Photo by Nicolas Vigier/Flickr
Legislators Come to Agreement on Deadly Force Reform

An agreement between lawmakers, activists, and police alters and passes the I-940 ballot initiative.

Namasgay participants gather at a local meetup. Photo courtesy of Frank Macri
Making a Home for Spiritually-Minded LGBTQ Folks

Namasgay hosts local events for queer people seeking greater self-actualization.

Most Read