On December 8th, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with a number of, what can only be described as, “anti-cannabis crusaders” in Washington D.C. The meeting follows a pattern of comments Sessions has made on cannabis legalization and enforcement of current federal cannabis laws, especially on adult-use cannabis states.
In attendance were old and new adversaries of cannabis legalization and decriminalization. Ed Meese III, the Reagan administration Attorney General, was even there, but so was the most vocal anti-cannabis talking head, Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). The attendees were caught on video before the meeting during a press moment when photos and video was allowed. The meeting itself was closed to the public. Some were identified by Marijuana Moment. There were ten people that were present at the meeting, in total. Some of those in attendance – all known opponents to cannabis – were:
- Edwin Meese III, U.S. attorney general under the Reagan administration
- Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana
- Bertha Madras, a former Office of National Drug Control Policy staffer and a member of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
- Robert DuPont, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse
- David Evans, executive director of the Drug Free Schools Coalition
In his brief video, Sessions comments, “I think it’s a big issue for America, for the country, and I’m of the general view that this is not a healthy substance. I think that’s pretty clear. And then have the policy response that we and the federal government needs to be prepared to take and do so appropriately and with good sense.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to hear your analysis on marijuana and some of the related issues,” Sessions continued. “I do believe, and I’m afraid, that the public is not properly educated on some of the issues related to marijuana. And that would be a matter that we could, all of us together, maybe be helpful in working on and that would allow better policy to actually be enacted.”
Conflicting signals have come from the Attorney General recently. On Capital Hill in testimony to the Congress he indicated the Obama administrations marijuana policy remains in effect. However, in a briefing with the press recently, he said that the Justice Department was actively looking to possibly change the policy.