It is unlikely that the Federal government can create a law to override statutes that allow medical and recreational use of marijuana in some states. These laws have been put on the books in a growing numbers of states. However, a national law that would legalize pot use across the entire nation could be blocked. Jeff Sessions, the Trump nominee for Attorney General, is against the legalization of a substance still banned for recreational use in most states.
KIND Financial creates compliance software for the cannabis industry. The reaction of its CEO, David Dineberg, is typical among those in the sector. He commented:
“Jeff Sessions is no friend of the legal cannabis movement and there is really no way to spin the nomination in a positive light. The industry was hoping to avoid Chris Christie as Attorney General because of his lack of support; now, I am pretty sure this is no better and maybe worse.”
Marijuana industry leaders in general have similar worries. The Huffington Post reported:
President-elect Donald Trump has nominated hardline drug policy reform opponent Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be attorney general of the United States, a move that sent shockwaves through the marijuana legalization movement on Friday.
Marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, despite the expansion of recreational programs in Colorado, Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. (The District, however, continues to ban sales, unlike the state programs.) Four new states approved legalization on Election Day, and 29 states in total have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. This movement has only been able to press forward because of guidance urging federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations.
For a detailed breakdown of the current state of pot in the states, readers should review recent 24/7 Wall St. articles: