Embattled senate candidate Roy Moore's loss might be the marijuana industry's gain if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets his way. McConnell recently floated the idea of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a virulent opponent of marijuana legalization — stepping down from his post in the Trump administration and replacing Moore — the Alabama Republican who faces multiple allegations of sexually harassing and assaulting underage women.
While speaking at a Wall Street Journal event yesterday, McConnell pitched the idea of using Sessions — who vacated the senate seat that Moore is running for — as a potential write-in candidate for the special election, which will be held on December 12. Write-ins typically don't do well, but they have won elections as recently as 2010 when Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski won her senate seat in 2010 as a write-in.
"So, why did she win?" McConnell opined. "She was totally well-known and extremely popular. And the name being the most often discussed may not be available, but the Alabamian who would fit that standard would be the attorney general, who is totally well-known and extremely popular in Alabama," he said.
But in order to keep that senate seat following the election, Sessions would have to step down as attorney general. A move that would be welcomed by marijuana advocates given that Sessions has threatened to go after states that have defied federal prohibition by legalizing medical marijuana or recreational cannabis use.
Swapping Moore and Sessions might also go over well with President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized and voiced frustration with his attorney general ever since appointing Sessions to the position last January.
But although getting rid of Sessions would be a win, it could prove to be a short, Pyrrhic victory for the legalization movement if Trump chooses an even worse candidate as the next attorney general. And given that Trump supporter and outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie needs a job, it wouldn't be surprising to see Christie — who vowed to enforce federal prohibition in all 50 states while running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2015 — succeed Sessions.