The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General in a straight partly-line vote, the New York Times reports. Sessions’ nomination moves now to the Republican-controlled Senate following the 11-9 committee vote.
There is little reason to believe that Sessions will not be confirmed by the Senate next week.
So far, Sessions’ views on how he will handle the legal cannabis industry are unclear. He was vague on the topic during his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee, saying that if prohibition at the federal level was “not desired any longer…Congress should pass a law and change the rule.”
His written testimony offered little additional insight.
In his written responses, Sessions admitted that he was “generally familiar” with the Cole memo – which instructed federal agencies to not interfere with the legal cannabis industry – but has not studied medical cannabis regulations “in depth.” In a response to Sen. Dick Durbin, Sessions called cannabis a “dangerous drug” and refused to say explicitly that he would not make arrests under federal law in legal states.
“Whether an arrest and investigation of an individual who may be violating the law is appropriate is a determination made in individual cases based on the sometimes unique circumstances surrounding those cases, as well as the resources available at the time,” he wrote.