Trump Administration to Roll Back Pot Policy
January 04, 2018
Under the new policy to be announced, federal prosecutors where pot is legal will have discretion over how aggressively they will enforce superseding federal marijuana laws. Unlike other drug control policies he has enacted in support of President Donald Trump’s agenda, this move is seen by most observers to reflect Sessions’ own views.
The former U.S. senator has long compared marijuana to heroin and blamed it for spikes in violent crime where legalization has already occurred. Legalization advocates, however, have argued that “decriminalizing” the drug would curb crime and supplant the existing black market trade that leads to violent crime.
In 2013, the Obama administration announced it would not interfere in states that legalize marijuana, so long as officials acted to keep it from migrating to places where it remained outlawed and out of the hands of criminal gangs and children. Many have argued those efforts to keep legalization contained have been a failure.
While marijuana business in the eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational use has become a highly complex multi-billion-dollar industry, law enforcement officials claim it has allowed illegal drug operations to work in plain sight while shipping the substance illegally to other states where they can profit even more.