The marijuana industry will be listening intently to the confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions for attorney general on Tuesday morning. While many people are focused on Sessions’ past positions on civil rights, cannabis companies are very concerned that this marijuana critic could put the brakes on the legalization of marijuana.
Even though Sessions comes to the hearings with heavy baggage, the general consensus is that he will get confirmed. If he does get confirmed, then the industry will be watching to see whether President-elect Donald Trump, who is generally in favor of states rights, will convince Sessions to his way of thinking or Sessions will be given a green light to pursue his anti-marijuana agenda.
“The rumor I’ve heard is that they will be cracking down with DC first,” said Adam Eidinger, cofounder of DCMJ, the group behind the legalization efforts in Washington DC. “[A] large number of dispensaries are going to get shut down straight up, shut down by the DEA six months from now.” Eidinger added, “Then all the states that legalized are going to get letters saying ‘No, don’t do it.’”
Eidinger’s plan to protest is by rallying his marijuana troops to hand out free marijuana joints at the inauguration, a move that he acknowledges has irritated some cannabis business leaders. “It’s lawful to share marijuana in DC, but not sell it. It’s also against the law to smoke in public, but we plan to force a tolerant position on the new administration.”
Eidinger garnered a lot of attention last year by showing up to Sessions office with marijuana and DCMJ was pleased they weren’t arrested. “Anyone who believes Jeff Sessions isn’t messing around, that he’s not going to crack down and turn down the whole medical marijuana industry, are missing the point. There’s no reason to believe he won’t do that.”