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Sessions Can't Get Joint to Roll on Pot Enforcement

By William Vogeler, Esq. on June 12, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If nothing else, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is persistent.

Even after President Trump started calling him "Mr. Magoo" a year ago, Sessions soldiered on. By the time all the other Trump attorneys quit, Sessions may be the last lawyer standing.

But now he's banging his head against another wall: prosecuting marijuana crimes. He has vowed to lead the charge on the pot industry, but nobody seems to be following him.

Marijuana Trade

According to reports, federal prosecutors have not filed any charges against pot businesses that are abiding by state laws. Meanwhile, federal lawmakers -- with support from the President -- are promoting bills to further protect the marijuana trade.

Senators have introduced a bill to allow states to pass marijuana laws without federal interference. Trump has said he "probably will end up supporting that."

Some prosecutors say they will enforce federal laws against marijuana businesses that cross state lines, but that has not notably deterred anyone. Lawyers, among others, are cashing in on interstate opportunities.

In Colorado, for example, one law firm announced international offices in Latin America and Europe to serve cannabis clients. The Hoban Law Group claims to be "the nation's first full-time, full-service cannabis law firm."

Marijuana Practice

It's happening because Americans support legalized marijuana. According to a CBS poll, more than 60 percent think it should be legal for recreational use and 88 percent favor it for medical use.

National law firms have followed the trend. Bob Morgan, president of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association, said firms are carving out cannabis practices because it covers many areas.

"A cannabis business needs not just a cannabis-focused lawyer but also one that really understands litigation and corporate law and intellectual property law and all these different types of practices," he told the Associated Press. "A single attorney would not normally have that kind of competency."

Sessions, for his part, also needs more than a single attorney for pot enforcement. But he's having trouble finding one.

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