For cannabis activists and entrepreneurs, medical marijuana users, and all Americans, the impending Trump administration took a nightmarish turn with the selection of cannabigot Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. No other choice could have been worse. Each and every one of Trump’s new cabinet is a hardliner cannabis prohibitionist.
Cannabigotry, prejudice against marijuana and those who consume it, echoed crystal clear in one of the former Alabama prosecutors most famous quotations,
Good people don’t smoke marijuana.
Sessions is not just a cannabigot. Decades of incidents show Sessions to be also a racist bigot. Perhaps the most bizarre expression of Sessions corrupt attitudes on both race and cannabis were chronicled by Eric Levitz in New York Magazine:
Alabama senator Jeff Sessions hates marijuana almost as much as he loves his Confederate heritage: The former prosecutor once “joked” to an African-American colleague that he was fine with the Ku Klux Klan “until I found out they smoked pot.”
So, Jeff Sessions was OK with the KKK until he heard they smoked MJ.
When Donald Trump was talking about “draining the swamp,” he must have meant the Everglades. All his appointees for cabinet and other keys posts are authoritarian, right-wing, reactionaries. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, mentioned for Secretary of Defense (shudder), in addition to being to the right of Dick Cheney on use of the military, is a total prohibitionist He has voted against any drug policy or criminal justice reform. Stunningly, he believes the USA, land of mass incarceration, jails too few of its citizens.
With marijuana a Schedule I drug, any possession is a serious federal penalty. Activities now common in legalized states, such as the growing, processing, and transport of large amounts of cannabis would warrant decades of prison time if arrested and convicted federally. Expect asset forfeiture to ramp up as newly aggressive US attorneys are rewarded for the seizure of citizen assets. Expect no rescheduling, no improvement in banking access, nor change in the ruinous 280 IRS regulation.
The protective Cole Memo will soon be a fond memory for the nascent cannabis industry. Only the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendments blocking federal prosecution in medically legal states. But this may well not be renewed by a newly marijuana-hating Trump administration, especially when opposed by the Attorney General and the entire cabinet.
Expect cannabis tyranny as the new cabinet takes office in January.
Doubtless, Sessions will have a major role in filling DEA Administrator and drug czar head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Which prohibitionist zealots will be chosen to fill those powerful roles? When will the federal dogs of drug war again ramp up the war on marijuana?