Parsing the Latest Pot Talk From Jeff Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke to reporters at the Department of Justice on Monday and offered up some vague remarks on marijuana. While there were no definitive announcements about a change in federal policy, there’s no doubt this guy is no fan of marijuana. In fact, he explicitly told the press “I’m definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana.” But what does that mean legally? 

“States can pass the laws they choose,” Sessions added.

They can?

“I would just say it remains a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.”


Sessions also confirmed he’s been talking to Nebraska’s attorney general who is deeply concerned about the influx of cannabis from Colorado. The country’s top lawyer says all this pot is increasing violence. He also noted—correctly—that today’s weed is far more potent than in generations past.

On Tuesday, Sessions raised even more questions about his position, saying he was "dubious" on the question of marijuana. He raised doubts that cannabis could be a cure for the nation's opioid epidemic but left room for a change of heart, saying maybe science would change his mind. 

Sessions’ remarks came several days after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled a coming crackdown on states that have legalized recreational pot.