AG Nom Jeff Sessions Thought KKK Was Okay Until He Learned They Smoked Pot?
Friday, November 18, 2016
Last week, we posted about a petition launched by the Marijuana Majority calling on president-elect Donald Trump to respect cannabis laws in states such as Colorado, which has legalized limited pot sales for recreational purposes.
In the end, neither Christie nor Giuliani made the cut. Instead, Trump has nominated Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of his earliest supporters in the U.S. Senate and among those who stuck by him even after the release of an Access Hollywood recording in which the president-elect joked about groping women.
Sessions has plenty of political baggage, much of it owing to what NPR has described as his "history of racially provocative remarks" — one of which had to do with marijuana. After his 1986 nomination as a federal district judge by then-president Ronald Reagan, he was said to have maintained that he thought members of the Ku Klux Klan "were okay until I found out they smoked pot."
Although he later claimed to have been joking, Sessions apologized for this comment. But in recent years, he's repeatedly said he views cannabis to be a dangerous substance and has decried efforts to legalize it.
During confirmation hearings for the current attorney general, Loretta Lynch, Sessions grilled her about pot legalization and seemed reassured to hear that she wasn't in favor of it. He encouraged her to make her antipathy for legal weed plain, noting that "in the past, department officials have spoken out and kept bad decisions from being made." In other remarks on the Senate floor, Sessions has been even more outspoken about the alleged risks of cannabis legalization.