CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Justice Department is reversing the Obama-era policy of non-interference in states where residents have voted to legalize marijuana sales and use.
Supporters of legal, recreational marijuana use are speaking out against an announcement Thursday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that clears the way for federal raids and prosecution of growers, distributors and sellers. Sessions is rescinding the Obama-era policy of federal non-interference with states such as Nevada, California, Colorado and others where voters have opted to legalize marijuana use and sales. State Senator Tick Segerblom thinks the fledgling marijuana industry in the Silver State should not come under attack.
“We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re anticipating and have budgeted for about $150 million in taxes, got almost 7,000 employees, so if all that shuts down, that’s huge. Not good,” Segerblom said.
It will now be up to the U.S. attorneys in each state whether to bust the retail shops that have sprung up since Nevadans passed Question Two in 2016. On Wednesday, Sessions also announced that Dayle Elieson, an assistant U.S. Attorney from Dallas, will replace Nevada’s acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre, effective Friday. Segerblom says it’s unclear what her approach will be.
Megan Fox with the Marijuana Policy Project said Sessions is out of step with most of the country on this issue.
“His own department recommended in August that the policy of non-interference stay in place. The president has long said that this should be a states’ rights issue, and he’s out of step with the American people, nearly two-thirds of which think that marijuana should be legal for adults,” said Fox.
Nevadans have spent an estimated 126-million dollars at retail marijuana shops since they opened four months ago. Six states have voted to legalize recreational use, and more than a dozen now allow medical marijuana use.