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Here's the news:
During his confirmation hearings for U.S. attorney general, prohibitionist Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R)
said nothing to reassure the cannabis industry
. “The U.S. Congress made the possession of marijuana in every state — and the distribution — an illegal act. If that’s something that’s not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule,” Sessions said.
In his opening statement he did not mention marijuana but said the in addition to an uptick in violent crime: “The country is also in the throes of a heroin epidemic, with overdose deaths more than tripling between 2010 and 2014. Meanwhile, illegal drugs flood across our southern border and into every city and town in the country, bringing violence, addiction, and misery.”
In addition, Sessions expressed no support for the principle of state’s rights on marijuana, or legalization’s widespread popularity saying "I won't commit to never enforcing federal law." Instead he considers marijuana enforcement "a problem of resources for the federal government."
The industry’s largest lobby, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) chose not to oppose the Sessions nomination and undoubtedly hoped he would grant the industry some legitimacy during the hearing. Instead, libertarian outfit
called his answers “unclear” and “useless.” The LATimes said he left the door open to “
reviving federal war on pot.
Republicans are confident they have the votes to win approval for Sessions, whose nomination a New York Times editorial called “
an insult to justice
” for his stance on legalization and a number of other criminal justice and civil rights issues.
The vote on whether to approve Sessions won’t come until after the inauguration, which is on Friday.
In other confirmation news, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, the former CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil,
declined to condemn
President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines.
Oregon lawmakers could
the state’s regulatory framework.
D.C. Councilman David Grosso wants the city, which vote to legalize REC in 2014,
to have an industry
The U.S. Air Force is
relaxing its standards
for prior marijuana use. Use by active-duty airmen remains forbidden.