During his remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting, Attorney General Jeff Sessions kept up his calls to reign in the legal cannabis industry, saying he is “dubious about marijuana.”
“States can pass whatever laws they choose but I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold in every corner grocery store,” he said. “I just don’t think that’s going to be good for us.”
Sessions also criticized a Washington Post column published Tuesday by Sam Kamin, a University of Denver marijuana law and policy professor, who argues that the national opioid crisis is “a reason to expand access to marijuana rather than to contract it.”
“Give me a break,” Sessions said. “This is the kind of argument that has been made out there that’s almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits. I doubt that’s true – maybe science will prove I’m wrong… My best view is we don’t need to be legalizing marijuana.”
Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, shot back at the both Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who, last week, said he expected “greater enforcement” of federal laws. Earlier this week, Sessions said that “violence around marijuana” warranted a federal crackdown.
“It’s clear that Mr. Spicer has not engaged in the research or talked to the industry or people directly involved with direct experience,” Blumenauer said in an NBC26 report. “This is not something that people have to speculate, there is actual evidence. In Oregon and Colorado, there hasn’t been any violent upheaval and public support continues to grow.”
He added that there is “no evidence” that prohibition has prevented people from consuming cannabis. Blumenauer also suggested that the administration has too much on their plate to worry about the legal cannabis industry.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on here: repeal of Obamacare, the budget dance, what’s happening with immigration, there are issues of greater urgency and intensity for the administration and most Americans,” Blumenauer explained. “But we aren’t going to allow this to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why we have the Cannabis Caucus, that’s why we are developing legislation, that’s why we are working with the industry.”