Stocks in companies dealing in cannabis- and marijuana-related products have risen since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions left the Trump administration, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Times‘ Kurtis Lee notes that it is not yet clear whether Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will have a different policy than Sessions, who was considered tough on marijuana:
Sessions’s departure has translated into spiking stocks for cannabis companies and a reset of sorts for the legalization movement which, since 2012, has seen nearly a dozen states pass recreational pot measures.
Colorado governor-elect Jared Polis, a staunch supporter of legal pot, said Sessions “had it out for states that have legalized marijuana.”
Even Cory Gardner, a staunchly conservative Republican senator from Colorado, tweeted a subtle jab at Sessions after his departure: “I look forward to continuing to work with the president to fulfill his campaign position to leave the regulation of marijuana to the states.”
While it’s hard to know exactly what, if anything, acting Atty. Gen. Matthew Whitaker will do on the issue, activists are hopeful they’ve escaped the toughest scrutiny. Although he hasn’t spoken at length about his views on marijuana, Whitaker, during his 2014 candidacy for an Iowa Senate seat, sympathized with users of medical cannabis.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this year, the Trump administration was said to have been planning reforms to federal marijuana policy after the midterm elections. Sessions had changed an Obama administration policy that restrained federal law enforcement from pursuing marijuana charges in states that had legalized the drug, but Sessions allowed federal prosecutors to use their own discretion in each state.
The new Trump policy is expected to allow medical marijuana while leaving recreational marijuana up to the states.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.