I just attended the MJ Biz Con in Vegas last week with over 10,000 people (and many suits and some celebrities) there to celebrate our recent legalization victories and showcase the future of the industry. The amount of money and effort put into the event highlighted the deep pockets working this industry and the green future. Then, at the airport yesterday morning, a friend texted me about our new Attorney General: Jeff Sessions. My cannabis industry excitement quickly went flaccid.
He’s not Rudy Giuliani and the weed-loathing Chris Christie–but Jeff “I hate fun” Sessions is quite possibly both a worse human being and worse choice as our new Attorney General than his perceived competition. Now, the Alabama Senator turned Attorney General will play the largest role in the government’s approach to marijuana reform for the next four years.
And for anyone in the industry that’s dedicated their lives to this cause for the last 5, 10, 20, or 50 years–Sessions represents a somewhat horrifying choice.
This is the same Jeff Sessions that, just last April, said this 100% serious statement about anyone who smokes weed:
“knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about… and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.“
Barring a complete 180 by Sessions or being forced to support marijuana by Trump (who knows), Sessions appointment as Attorney General can’t be good. But how bad can it actually be?
If Sessions could go back to the “Just Say No” Reagan days, he would in a heartbeat. Along with being in favor of Trump’s wall (for real), Sessions doesn’t believe in decriminalizing drugs. Sessions believes that only horrible people consume drugs and that cannabis is one of those drugs–and not medicine. If you offered Sessions a hot tub time machine, he would probably use that time machine to go back fifty years and eradicate the world of weed, diversity, and laughter.
The biggest question is whether or not Sessions will try to break the Obama administration’s (and former Attorney General Eric Holder’s) kept promise not to mess with states’ weed laws. It’s scary a thought but on a state by state level, there’s probably little if anything Sessions can do aside from send in the DEA (who’s had its anti-marijuana budget cut) to raid grows not paying their taxes or for whatever reason Sessions can find.
The bigger concern is on a federal level, where there’s now little to no chance that the government will decriminalize or move at all forward while this guy has any power. The chances of marijuana being rescheduled go up in smoke, and marijuana surely won’t be de-scheduled under this guys watch.
The main question that no one can answer is: can this guy actually reverse our current state? We now have eight states with legal marijuana and 30 with medical marijuana. Marijuana is more popular than President Trump. But marijuana also has a scary new enemy in power.
Which, god forbid he does take a shot at weed, lends to a bigger question: what would happen? Would our stoners rebel and start a revolution? The marijuana majority is very real, and taking shots at state laws would cause even bigger divides in our country. If Trump actually lets this guy come at Mary Jane, it’s going to start something.
Hopefully we never have to find that out.
In the mean time, at least we found someone we can all hate on together:
“We’re going to see more marijuana use and it’s not going to be good.”