Sessions rescinds Obama era cannabis policy
(CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded a trio of memos from the Obama administration that had adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws.
The move essentially shifts federal policy from the hands-off approach adopted under the previous administration to unleashing federal prosecutors across the country to decide individually how to prioritize resources to crack down on pot possession, distribution and cultivation of the drug in states where it is legal.
While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, creating a conflict between federal and state law. Thursday's announcement is a major decision for an attorney general who has regularly decried marijuana use as dangerous.
In a written statement Thursday, Sessions called the shift a "return to the rule of law" but he did not go as far as some advocates had feared he might, stopping short of explicitly directing more prosecutions, resources or other efforts to take down the industry as a whole.
"In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the department's finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions," Sessions said in a memo to all federal prosecutors. "These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community."
Not surprised he waited until after California legalized to do this. I'm sure it's been planned from the start. Wait until the largest number of people have invested the money and energy in the cannabis industry to inflict the greatest harm. He can pick and choose who he wants to bust, who to take bribes from. The Feds are going to make a lot of money and of course the small businesses will take the biggest falls. The big corporate connected groups will be able to hire the lawyers and pay to get a monopoly on the industry.