President Obama’s nomination for Attorney General has already taken a hardline stance against cannabis legalization. Loretta Lynch (not to be confused with the Honky Tonk Girl) is the current United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, but she was born in North Carolina, a southern state with very strict policies regarding cannabis (even after the high-CBD extract enlightenment of recent years).
When asked “Do you support the legalization of marijuana?” during her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lynch responded with a swift “Senator, I do not.” Ouch. Her views may not bode well for the cannabis community if she were to be elected.
She went on to say that she disagrees with President Obama’s assertion that cannabis is no more dangerous than alcohol, stating that “it is not the position of the Department of Justice currently to support legalization, nor would it be the position if I were confirmed as attorney general.” Eric Holder, the previous Attorney General, while perhaps a bit wishy-washy on his stance with cannabis legalization, backed down from prosecuting legalized states and generally supported legalization efforts, if only through a lack of prosecution.
How disheartening, then, to see the newest candidate for a crucial role at such a pivotal point in history poo-poo legalization efforts. The role of Attorney General could play a huge part in the end of prohibition if she or he so chose – one recommendation of further research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis could open the doors to a federal reclassification.
When asked what advice she might offer to states considering cannabis legalization, she simply said she would refer them to the current Department of Justice policy on narcotics and that federal laws would be enforced. Double ouch.
Luckily for the cannabis movement, Ms, Lynch is currently only a nominee. The decision has not yet been made and we’re hoping that President Obama recognizes the need for flexibility in such an important role.