Pubdate: Thu, 24 Nov 2016
Source: Tucson Weekly (AZ)
Copyright: 2016 Tucson Weekly
Author: Nick Meyers


Roll Out

New attorney general could mean "no more smoke" Sessions

While many are still reeling from election night's results, some of
that dizzying effect may owe itself to new marijuana laws in eight
states. Only one state didn't pass its marijuana ballot measure, and
we all already know who it is.

Prop 205 failed by a relatively narrow margin-2.65 percent or 67,021
votes-compared to Clinton's 3.57 percent gap in Arizona. More than
125,000 voters cast their ballot for the presidency, but not for Prop

Only two counties actually passed the proposition-Coconino with 55.34
percent and Pima with 51.37 percent-but the measure ultimately failed
with 48.68 percent of voters in favor and 51.32 percent opposed.

There's already new legalization efforts in the works, but given the
amount of money it takes to get an initiative to the ballot and get
the voter turnout to pass, it's unlikely that Arizona will see another
recreational measure until 2020.

The silver lining is that two nearby states passed recreational
measures. California and Nevada in addition to Maine and Massachusetts
passed legal recreational initiatives, bringing the total number of
legal pot states up to eight and Washington D.C.

Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota passed medical marijuana
laws bringing the total of medical states to 28 and Washington D.C. It
would seem full legalization is on the way, barring one major hurdle.

Last week Trump announced a vehement anti-pot senator from Alabama as
his attorney general nomination, an office that holds power over
bringing litigation against states for violating federal law, under
which marijuana is still very illegal.

You've probably seen plenty of stories about Jeff Sessions so far.
He's the one quoted at an April Senate hearing saying, "good people
don't smoke marijuana."

Though a staunch republican, it's doubtful traditional states' rights
will take precedent over his crusade on drugs.

Currently there's two documents protecting the states that have
legalized marijuana from full persecution.

The first is the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which keeps the
Justice Department (which Sessions would head) from using federal
funds to enforce prohibition laws against states that have legalized
medical marijuana.

The second is known as the "Cole Memo," penned by former attorney
general Eric Holder, which is the official "hands-off" stance the
federal government has taken towards marijuana so far.

Though Trump has said in the past he's open to the idea of full
legalization, a Sessions birdy in his ear in conjunction with a
quick-trigger temperament could quickly turn disastrous for legal marijuana.

Unfortunately, legal marijuana might not be the worst social agenda
Sessions opposes. He's also taken stances against same-sex marriage,
abortion, "rights" to clean air and water and reduced sentencing for
drug offenders.

He's the one you might remember defending Trump in early October,
claiming that grabbing a woman's genitals is not sexual assault.

While it's possible the Trump administration might realize the
political capital they'd need to surrender to fight legal marijuana,
this is the administration that wants build a 2,000-mile wall along
the southern border, repeal Obamacare and possibly go after Roe v.

Stomping out legal marijuana is a small bowl to cash compared to those

Still, with 60 percent of Americans favoring legal marijuana in the
latest Gallup poll, don't hold your hit for too long expecting it
might be your last.
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MAP posted-by: Matt