-By Valerie Miller
While states like Nevada, Colorado and Washington have thriving legal marijuana businesses, the money plant is still a “Schedule 1” drug under federal law. That means cannabis is classified as the most-dangerous type of drug by the feds.
Then-Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who wasn’t always the biggest fan of legalization, nonetheless later tried to protect Nevada’s budding marijuana industry.
In early 2018, Sandoval joined a group of a dozen governors calling on Congress to guarantee federal protections for the states’ marijuana operations.
While candidate Donald Trump had promised to take a “hands off” approach to the growing number of states legalizing marijuana sales, later he would name a harsh opponent of weed – Jeff Session—as his first attorney general. Sessions was decidedly more anti-pot than the more-liberal new president.
As president, Trump would eventually call Sessions off his marijuana-squashing campaign. But until President Trump intervened, Nevada and other states tried to act themselves.
When the U.S. Justice Department rolled back federal protections to existing marijuana programs at the direction of Session, lending dried up for many in the legal pot business.
So, Sandoval joined many other states’ governors last year in backing a federal bill called the “Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.”
Fortunately for Nevada and the other pro-legal marijuana states, Sessions lost favor with Trump after Sessions recused himself from the investigation of possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That Special Counsel Robert Muller report, which was released in late March, cleared Trump of collusion, but it came too late to save Sessions’ job. The first AG pick of Trump’s was asked to resign following the November mid-term election.
Robert Barr, the AG under former President George H.W. Bush, again took the top law enforcement post for President Trump. Barr, who has been busy lately working out the release of the Muller report, has not been as vocal as Sessions on the legalization of marijuana.
Valerie Miller is an award-winning Las Vegas Valley-based journalist. She can be reached at (702) 683-3986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.