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Sessions plans to rescind Obama-era pot policy

by Evan Wilt
Posted 1/04/18, 12:16 pm

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to scrap a 2013 Obama administration policy that discouraged prosecutors from enforcing federal marijuana laws, according to the Associated Press. Eight states and the District of Columbia currently have laws allowing recreational marijuana use. The Obama administration issued a directive known as the “Cole memo” that ordered federal prosecutors to back off enforcement in states with laws permitting marijuana use. Congress still recognizes pot as an illegal drug, but the memo deprioritized marijuana-related cases in those jurisdictions. Sessions has been a longtime critic of marijuana use, dating back to his time as a prosecutor in Alabama. While in the Senate, Sessions repeatedly rebuffed efforts to loosen marijuana restrictions. On Monday, California became the sixth state to begin sales of the drug for recreational use. Voters in Massachusetts and Maine approved legalization measures last year, and the new laws will go into effect later this year. When Colorado and Washington legalized the drug in 2012, it marked the start of a booming cannabis market. Marijuana sales topped $10 billion in 2017, according to a report from Arcview Market Research.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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