Eric Holder slams Sessions’ ‘almost obsession with marijuana’
Eric Holder on Tuesday hit Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the Trump administration’s push to crack down on marijuana use, calling it an “almost obsession.”
Holder, who served as attorney general during the Obama administration, accused Sessions of putting the Justice Department at odds with the agency’s previous decisions on marijuana, The Washington Examiner reported.
Holder discussed previous Justice Department guidance that said the federal government wouldn’t enforce laws banning recreational marijuana sales in states where the substance was legalized, as long as violations like underage sales weren’t taking place.
“I think that was a really good policy,” Holder said in remarks at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, according to the Examiner. “The Sessions almost obsession with marijuana I think is the thing that’s put the Justice Department in this strange place.”
Sessions has publicly pushed for a crackdown on marijuana and his department is currently reviewing whether to change or more strictly enforce marijuana laws.
“I think the policy we had in place was a good one: Let the states experiment with the notion that, again, we have these eight or nine federal factors and if you trigger one of these eight or nine factors the feds are going to be coming in,” Holder said.
Marijuana advocates feared that Sessions would implement expected recommendations from a task force on violent crime calling for a crackdown on marijuana. However, the task force instead called for more study on revising federal enforcement of laws on the substance.
Eight states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing the recreational use of marijuana, while more than half of states allow the use of medical marijuana.