Jeff Sessions, attorney general of the United States, has some strong opinions on weed — that aren't always based on fact. Now, Sessions seems to be delivering on his implicit promise to target states where recreational weed is legal. Sessions recently made the dubious claim that weed is only "slightly less awful than heroin," and it now appears the Justice Department is investigating pot-related crimes in Colorado — despite marijuana's current legal status in the state.
According to a March 6 email obtained by the International Business Times, a Justice Department official requested case information on seven marijuana arrests from Colorado's attorney general's office. The email was sent to Michael Melito, a prosecutor under the state's Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.
"Are you able to provide me the state docket numbers for the following cases?" wrote the Justice Department official, whose name was redacted. "Some of our intel people are trying to track down info regarding some of DEA's better marijuana investigations for the new administration. Hopefully it will lead to some positive changes."
While the email's sender is unknown, he or she is evidently employed by the DEA's financial investigations team. It's also unclear, since the dockets are redacted, what cases the DEA employee is referring to or when the arrests were made; however, the cases might be financially related given the sender's occupation within the agency.
Sessions has maintained a hardline stance on both recreational and medicinal weed. Though it's unlikely Sessions will be capable of launching a viable assault on medicinal marijuana, a fight against recreational weed is not implausible — and the attorney general has intimated as much.
"States they can pass the laws they choose," Sessions told reporters in February. "I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not."