Support for Jeff Sessions' war on marijuana is dwindling by the day. Trump's attorney general seems determined to enforce federal cannabis prohibition in states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana, but he's facing large opposition from Democrats as well as fellow Republicans — including Alberto Gonzales, who served as President George W. Bush's attorney general from 2005 to 2007.
“With respect to everything else going on in the U.S., this is pretty low priority," Gonzales recently told Newsweek. “To prosecute an act that is otherwise lawful under state law, one could make the argument [that] as a matter of policy, we’ve got other priorities we ought to be spending our resources on.”
In fairness, Gonzales added that Sessions might not be the one pressing for a crackdown.
“What people often fail to understand or appreciate, is that the attorney general works for the president,” he said. “While the attorney general has a great deal of say about law enforcement policy, so does the White House.”
But it seems unlikely that Trump is the one trying to rollback marijuana legalization. The president has criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe, for not investigating Hillary Clinton's missing emails and for not firing FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe. But he hasn't said anything about cracking down on marijuana, and given the harsh words he's had for Sessions in the past, it seems unlikely that Trump is trying to spare his attorney general's feelings by not criticizing his failure to crack down on cannabis.
Meanwhile, Sessions has said marijuana is "only slightly less awful" than heroin, and he scoffs at the idea of using marijuana medicinally. So the crackdown is most likely part of his own, longstanding anti-marijuana agenda.
But he hasn't found much support from his colleagues on the issue. On top of the criticism from Gonzales, Republicans in Congress have opposed Sessions' attempts to crackdown on medical marijuana. His own own task force has recommended against going after states that have legalized recreational marijuana. And even President Trump has put up roadblocks by signing a budget that gutted Sessions' funds for enforcing marijuana prohibition.
So Sessions might want to add 'learning how to take a hint' to his 2018 New Years resolutions. Sorry, Jeff, but your friends just aren't into marijuana prohibition anymore.