America’s legal cannabis industry might be able to exhale about the federal government’s hypothetical “greater enforcement” on recreational marijuana.
In a Wednesday interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper revealed what Attorney General Sessions told him during their private conversation:
He’s got his hands full with things — heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine — other things are even more significant. But doesn’t mean that he feels in any way that he should be cutting any slack to marijuana.
Better yet, when Hickenlooper asked Sessions if this “greater enforcement” was happening, Sessions told him:
You haven’t seen us cracking down, have you?
Hickenlooper indicated that the initial “cutting slack” remark likely applies more to illicit cannabis activity and those trafficking marijuana across state lines. The Colorado Governor admits that while Sessions isn’t pro-cannabis, he won’t be shutting down the nation’s cannabis businesses. “He’s very clear — he is anti drugs in all forms. He’s not going to encourage anyone to start a marijuana business … That being said, he didn’t give me any reason to think that he is going to come down and suddenly try to put everyone out of business,” stated Hickenlooper.
Instead, Hickenlooper believes Sessions’ main marijuana prerogative is going after the cartel-like activities: If they’re going to run their business, they’d better be absolutely clean … If there are illegal grows in Colorado, and that marijuana is going out of state, we’re going to nail them and we’re gonna prosecute them.
That belief falls in line with the reported assurance Sessions gave a group of Senators in March about the federal government not interfering with states’ cannabis laws.
Still, Hickenlooper concedes at one point that Jeff Sessions is by no means a fan of marijuana:
[He] feels strongly that more people smoking more marijuana — or doing any kind of drugs — is unhealthy for the country… [he’s] very concerned about a tendency towards more drug consumption.
Hickenlooper told interviewer Chuck Todd that he personally assured Sessions that cannabis consumption has not significantly increased since Colorado began adult-use sales in January 2014.