Sessions Advisers Wouldn’t Change Policy on Pot

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety would largely retain the Justice Department’s hands-off policy on marijuana, says the Associated Press.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views, the Associated Press reports. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana. It encourages officials to keep studying whether to change or rescind the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to enforcement,  a stance that has allowed the nation’s experiment with legal pot to flourish.

Sessions, who has compared marijuana to heroin and blamed it for spikes in violence, has been promising to reconsider existing pot policy since he took office six months ago. His statements have prompted both support and worry across the political spectrum as a growing number of states have legalized the drug. Threats of a federal crackdown have united liberals and some conservatives, who see pot as a state’s rights issue. Some advocates and members of Congress feared the task force’s recommendations would give Sessions the green light to begin dismantling what has become a sophisticated, multimillion-dollar pot industry that helps fund schools, educational programs and law enforcement. Some in law enforcement support a tougher approach, but a bipartisan group of senators has urged Sessions to uphold existing marijuana policy. Others in Congress are seeking ways to protect and promote pot businesses.