Roll Out 

New attorney general could mean “no more smoke” Sessions

click to enlarge bigstock-marijuana-background-56304008.jpg

While many are still reeling from election night's results, some of that dizzying effect may owe itself to new marijuana laws in eight states. Only one state didn't pass its marijuana ballot measure, and we all already know who it is.

Prop 205 failed by a relatively narrow margin—2.65 percent or 67,021 votes—compared to Clinton's 3.57 percent gap in Arizona. More than 125,000 voters cast their ballot for the presidency, but not for Prop 205.

Only two counties actually passed the proposition—Coconino with 55.34 percent and Pima with 51.37 percent—but the measure ultimately failed with 48.68 percent of voters in favor and 51.32 percent opposed.

There's already new legalization efforts in the works, but given the amount of money it takes to get an initiative to the ballot and get the voter turnout to pass, it's unlikely that Arizona will see another recreational measure until 2020.

The silver lining is that two nearby states passed recreational measures. California and Nevada in addition to Maine and Massachusetts passed legal recreational initiatives, bringing the total number of legal pot states up to eight and Washington D.C.

Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota passed medical marijuana laws bringing the total of medical states to 28 and Washington D.C. It would seem full legalization is on the way, barring one major hurdle.

Last week Trump announced a vehement anti-pot senator from Alabama as his attorney general nomination, an office that holds power over bringing litigation against states for violating federal law, under which marijuana is still very illegal.

You've probably seen plenty of stories about Jeff Sessions so far. He's the one quoted at an April Senate hearing saying, "good people don't smoke marijuana."

Though a staunch republican, it's doubtful traditional states' rights will take precedent over his crusade on drugs.

Currently there's two documents protecting the states that have legalized marijuana from full persecution.

The first is the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which keeps the Justice Department (which Sessions would head) from using federal funds to enforce prohibition laws against states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The second is known as the "Cole Memo," penned by former attorney general Eric Holder, which is the official "hands-off" stance the federal government has taken towards marijuana so far.

Though Trump has said in the past he's open to the idea of full legalization, a Sessions birdy in his ear in conjunction with a quick-trigger temperament could quickly turn disastrous for legal marijuana.

Unfortunately, legal marijuana might not be the worst social agenda Sessions opposes. He's also taken stances against same-sex marriage, abortion, "rights" to clean air and water and reduced sentencing for drug offenders.

He's the one you might remember defending Trump in early October, claiming that grabbing a woman's genitals is not sexual assault.

While it's possible the Trump administration might realize the political capital they'd need to surrender to fight legal marijuana, this is the administration that wants build a 2,000-mile wall along the southern border, repeal Obamacare and possibly go after Roe v. Wade.

Stomping out legal marijuana is a small bowl to cash compared to those feats.

Still, with 60 percent of Americans favoring legal marijuana in the latest Gallup poll, don't hold your hit for too long expecting it might be your last.


More by Nick Meyers

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