WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- With the swearing in of a new Attorney General come questions of how his role could change current policy. Like how to deal with states that have made recreational pot legal.
“There’s a new sheriff in town,” Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an organization whose mission is a health-first approach to marijuana policy.
As acting AG, Jeff Sessions has the power to change the course of marijuana legalization in our country. Sabet said it’s not something he’d invest in right now.
“When it’s all about money public health suffers. It affects our workers and if we want to build infrastructure and sort of change things in America it’s hard to do that with a stoned workforce, stoned students, and stoned parents,” Sabet added.
Sabet said it’s too soon to tell what role Mr. Trump or Attorney General Sessions will play in this. But one pro-legalization group says, with a businessman in the White House, he believes Mr. Trump will see the benefits of legalization are too good to pass up.
“I’m thinking that the toothpaste is out of the tube and it’s brushing plenty of teeth right now. So I don’t think that Mr. Trump is going to want to go and destroy an industry that is creating what good paying jobs and creating a source of tax revenue for the states and federal government,” Robert Capecchi, Director of Federal Policies with the Marijuana Policy Project said.
An organization that believes marijuana should be legal in the same way alcohol is. Recreational marijuana use is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and D.C. Election Day 2016 added four more states to the list- California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. Arizona- voted not to.
“I think that there’s an appetite on the state level to end the prohibition of marijuana. I think most people agree at this point that its failed policy. And that it’s simply illogical and silly to keep prohibiting a substance that we know is being used and consumed in communities across the country on a daily basis,” Capecchi said.
Under former President Obama, states were given a more hands-off approach when experimenting with legalization. Only time will tell if under a Trump administration, the trend will grow, or be cut back.