AG Sessions – DOJ Abrogates Cole Memo
AG Sessions – DOJ Abrogates Cole Memo In a seismic shift, will announce Thursday that he is rescinding a trio of memos from the Obama administration that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, according to a source with knowledge of the decision.
Opponents of legal marijuana on Thursday celebrated the long-awaited action.
“It’s pretty clear that the federal policy is going to be that U.S. attorneys will have discretion and the industry can no longer hide behind the Cole memo and say that they’re protected,” said Kevin Sabet, who worked in Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy and now runs the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “There is an unknown here because we don’t know how this is going to be implemented.”
It was not immediately clear when Sessions will formally revoke the agreement, authored in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
The move is likely to put the federal government in conflict with states where marijuana is legal for recreational use. California on Monday became the sixth state to legalize recreational marijuana. Massachusetts and Maine are set to join those states later this year.
“It’s really the beginning of the story, not the end,” Sabet said.
Legalization has led to a booming marijuana business in some states, where wealthy growers and even hedge funds have invested millions of dollars in production and sales. Some industry analysts peg the North American cannabis market at $10 billion in annual sales.