Turns out you might have actually have something in common with alt-right Trump crony Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If you can’t get that sweet scent of weed out of your mind, then just know that neither can Jeff. The Attorney General has an “almost obsession with marijuana,” according to his predecessor, former AG Eric Holder.
Holder, who held Sessions’ current position from 2009 to 2015 during the Obama administration, told a crowd at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice he believes Sessions’ wariness of states to operate their own legal cannabis markets “put[s] the Justice Department in this strange place,” as reported by The Washington Examiner.
Sessions has indeed seemed unusually focused on cannabis since taking office earlier this year. While giving a speech on the opioid crisis to law enforcement leaders in March, Sessions chose to spend more time talking about weed than about actual opioids. During this speech, he called cannabis “only slightly less awful than heroin.”
He has also hinted to states with recreational cannabis markets that he might not honor the Cole Memo (a sort of peace treaty between state and federal authorities when it comes to state-authorized medical cannabis markets) forever, and drafted a memo to increase mandatory minimum drug sentences, and called claims of marijuana’s medical possibilities “just… a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits,” while conceding that, “Maybe science will prove I’m wrong,” which it definitely has.
Holder’s recent remarks have not been met without criticism, even from cannabis advocates. Holder claimed that lawmakers had formerly passed a “good policy” which “said no federal money could be used to bring federal law enforcement against people who are using marijuana in states where it had been either legalized or where it had been authorized for medicinal purposes.” As the Examiner pointed out, however, that while Congress did pass such protections for state-licensed medical marijuana programs, they did not do so for recreational cannabis programs.
Noted cannabis advocate and journalist Tom Angell also tweeted in response to Holder’s talk that, “Eric Holder could have rescheduled marijuana while in office but didn’t.”