It is no secret that Attorney General Sessions is opposed to the use of marijuana for any purpose, including medicinally. He has appointed a former United State’s Attorney from Tennessee to help implement the change. There has been a growing movement by CONSERVATIVES in this country to reduce federal mandatory penalties. Senator Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan supported such legislation. As a Senator, Sessions prevented the bill from being voted on even when there were over 70 Senators in favor because he politicized it as a vote to go soft on crime.
Now as Attorney General, Mr. Sessions has ordered that every tool be used in the prosecution of any drug offense. Discretion regarding pleas to lesser quantities in order to insure fairness may be limited. Quantity alone should not determine the sentence. Prosecutors and judges in State court where mandatory sentences are not required understand this and view the defendant as a whole. Federal prosecutors and federal judges have been doing this since the Sentencing Guidelines were ruled no longer mandatory. However if the only charges pursued are the ones carrying mandatory penalties then discretion will be lost. The next 4 years will see a change in federal prosecution tactics. Those states that have liberalized marijuana use may find some of their participants charged under federal law with manufacturing marihuana. The federal prison beds of the drug offenders pardoned by President Obama are going to be filled.