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Trump to Sessions: You’re Fired?

I would urge caution to those individuals who are passionate about the legalization of marijuana against prematurely breaking out the champagne.

DENVER, COLORADO, USA, July 26, 2017 / -- President Donald John Trump has ratcheted up his Twitter attacks against Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions during the past few days, referring to him as “weak” and “beleaguered.” It is clear that Trump wants Sessions out, and as far as the president is concerned, the sooner, the better.

Even an apoplectic Trump knows that firing Sessions is not an astute move. Worth noting this has not stopped Trump from similar actions, including the firing of FBI director, James Comey, which added fuel to the continuing Russian investigation fires. It appears that the tack Trump has chosen is to harangue and embarrass Sessions to the point of forcing his resignation.

Sessions’ hatred of state-licensed marijuana businesses is well-known. Many proponents of state-licensed marijuana businesses are elated that Trump is seeking to force Sessions out. I would urge caution to those individuals who are passionate about the legalization of marijuana against prematurely breaking out the champagne.

Sessions was sworn in as attorney general on February 9th. Although his rhetoric against marijuana has increased in frequency and degree, he has not yet taken any direct actions against state-licensed marijuana programs. He did not seek to prohibit the opening of Nevada’s new recreational marijuana program on July 1st of this year. That certainly came as a pleasant and unexpected surprise to me.

Those of you who have read my prior articles know that I am not a fan of Jeff Sessions. To his credit, he has been particularly efficient at ramming through a number of Trump initiatives at the Justice Department. Of particular concern to me is his July 19th reinstatement of the Department of Justice’s asset forfeiture program. The asset forfeiture program allows the Federal Government and local law enforcement agencies to seize marijuana businesses and their assets.

Both the mainstream and marijuana media treated the reinstatement as a mere footnote. My conclusion is that the asset forfeiture program is a serious threat to the state-licensed marijuana industry. The implementation of this program puts all state-licensed marijuana businesses, their assets and their principal’s assets at risk. I am sure that there are numerous local law enforcement agencies who are ‘chomping at the bit’ to begin shutting down marijuana businesses by seizing their assets.

In addition to reinstating the asset forfeiture program, Sessions appointed a task force on crime reduction and public safety. He authorized the task force to include a review of marijuana law and enforcement policies. The task force is expected to make their recommendations on July 27th. It is likely that their report will not be very favorable to America’s state-licensed marijuana industry.

Senator Ted Cruz and Rudy Giuliani are being suggested as possible replacements for Jeff Sessions. One could determine that no one could be more hostile to the marijuana industry than Sessions, but Cruz or Sessions could prove that theory wrong.

As Will Rogers said, “Things can’t go on like this, and they didn’t, they got worse.”

There is an old Irish proverb that should be taken to heart. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” That proverb has never been truer than today.

Jeffrey Friedland
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