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Sessions Says States Are Free To Legalize Marijuana, But DOJ Can Enforce Federal Law

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States are free to legalize marijuana, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Thursday, but his department plans to continue enforcing federal prohibition anyway.

“Personally my view is that the American republic will not be better if there are marijuana sales on every street corner,” Sessions said in response to a reporter’s question. “But states have a right to set their own laws and will do so.”

Sessions, speaking at a press conference in Boston about unrelated fraud prosecutions, said that when it comes to marijuana, “we’ll enforce the federal law.”

“The federal law remains the law of the United States.”

See video of Sessions’s new marijuana comments below, courtesy of MassLive:

A growing number of states are moving to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use.

But while federal cannabis prohibition remains on the books for now, momentum for reform is gaining traction in Congress.

Last month, President Trump voiced support for bipartisan legislation that would let states enact their own marijuana policies without federal interference.

Trump Says He “Really” Supports Senate Marijuana Legislation

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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