Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind Obama-era policy that let legalized marijuana flourish
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind the Obama-era policy that allowed legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, according to an Associated Press report.
Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, two sources with knowledge of the decision told the AP.
The people familiar with the plan spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the plan before it was announced. That announcement is expected to come Thursday.
Sessions’ decision will likely add confusion about whether it’s legal to grow, buy or use marijuana in states where it is legal, since federal law still prohibits it, the AP report says. Just days ago, California allowed pot shops to open, launching what could be the world’s largest market for legalized recreational marijuana.
Polls show a majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal, the AP says.
Sessions has compared marijuana to heroin, and blamed it for spikes in violence. His decision to ramp up enforcement is not unexpected, according to the AP.
Advocates for legalized marijuana argue that allowing the drug to be used legally eliminates the need for a black market and would likely reduce violence.