UPDATE: Attorney General Cynthia Coffman says don’t be alarmed…yet:
Colorado AG Cynthia Coffman: based on convo with interim US attorney, doesn’t expect crackdown on legal marijuana market in Colorado. Continuation of targeting black and gray markets. @denverpost #COpolitics pic.twitter.com/tdGAsUMvap
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) January 4, 2018
Hopefully these words don’t come back to bite her (see below).
AP reporting via KDVR FOX 31 along with every other media outlet in the land, just days after the nation’s largest retail marijuana market commenced operations in California–Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to be making good on longstanding threats to crack down on the legal sale of marijuana, with apparently no distinction even between medical and retail sales:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, including in Colorado, according to two sources.
Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors where pot is legal decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana law, the sources said…
While Sessions has been carrying out a Justice Department agenda that follows Trump’s top priorities on such issues as immigration and opioids, the changes to pot policy reflect his own concerns.
Trump’s personal views on marijuana remain largely unknown.
Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is affecting much outrage over Sessions’ move today via Twitter:
This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018
The rub here of course is that Sen. Gardner, alone among Colorado’s delegation in Washington, cast his vote to confirm Sessions as Attorney General–meaning that Gardner is left holding the proverbial bag in this case more than anyone else in our vanguard legalization state. For all the noise Gardner is making in defense of Colorado’s marijuana industry now, he can’t escape at least partial responsibility for Sessions’ actions.
Obviously we’ll be watching this developing story for updates, since Sessions’ next steps on marijuana will have a major effect on Colorado’s economy. Stay tuned.