We tend to agree that Sessions actually made his life worse by sticking his hand directly into the hornets nest.
Here’s the introduction to the piece.
Last Monday, three weeks after Sessions gave federal prosecutors wide berth to begin marijuana busts in states where it’s legal, Phil Scott, the Republican governor of Vermont, signed a bill making Vermont the ninth state to legalize the drug.
The strongest pushback against the Trump administration’s new marijuana policy, however, seems to be in Congress — where dozens of lawmakers are pushing legislation that would handcuff Sessions on pot.
Ironically, Sessions is sparking more enthusiasm for recreational marijuana on Capitol Hill than any time in Congress’s modern history.
“It has awakened a sleeping giant,” Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said of the way politicians are reacting to Sessions repealing the Cole memorandum, a policy from the Obama administration that tolerated pot companies in states that legalized the drug.
“The move by Sessions on the Cole memo has really activated people who were not active before, both inside Congress and across the country,” the California congressman told BuzzFeed News.
Democrats and Republicans have urged President Trump to rein in Sessions, while they press to maintain banking regulations that accommodate pot businesses. A bipartisan group of House members from Colorado confronted Sessions directly in a letter. And bills filed in the House this month would keep the federal government from interfering with state-legalized cannabis and remove penalties entirely.
Last Tuesday, a bipartisan letter from 54 lawmakers urged Trump to stand by his campaign vow to leave marijuana “up to the states,” while pressuring the president to override Sessions.
Those letters and bills may be more fantasy than reality, given that Trump is known to flip-flop, and Congress has no appetite for wholesale legalization. But they may boost a more viable effort underway that would jam Sessions.
On Jan. 12, 69 lawmakers — including 15 Republicans — sent House leadership a letter urging them to adopt an amendment in the next annual spending bill. The measure would prevent the Justice Department from using any funds to interfere with a state’s marijuana legalization scheme, thereby staving off Sessions.
Rohrabacher, who signed onto the letter, called this tactic “very possible.”