Sessions task force doesn't recommend crack down on legal marijuana.

Sessions Put Together a Task Force to Justify Cracking Down on Legal Marijuana. It Said Things Should Stay the…

Sessions Put Together a Task Force to Justify Cracking Down on Legal Marijuana. It Said Things Should Stay the…

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Aug. 5 2017 10:55 AM

Sessions’ Task Force Doesn't Recommend Crack Down on Legal Marijuana

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions pauses during an event at the Justice Department August 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

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It’s hardy a secret that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not a fan of states that have chosen to legalize marijuana. He even put together a hand-picked task force to help him figure out how the federal government should deal with legalized marijuana in the states. But it seems the group of prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials Sessions put together really don’t think much should change.

The findings from the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety have yet to be made public. And there may be good reason for that. Turns out the group of experts Sessions put together did not come up with any new recommendations on how to best turn the the attorney general’s anti-pot views into concrete action for the federal government, according to the Associated Press.

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The AP got its hands on portions of the report that appear to make clear the task force believes authorities should keep studying the issue in order to determine whether the federal government should change the Obama-era hands-off approach to legalized marijuana. Although the findings are hardly final and Sessions is under no obligation to listen to the task force, “the tepid nature of the recommendations signals just how difficult it would be to change course on pot,” notes the AP.

Advocates of legal weed promptly celebrated news of the task force’s findings. “The task force’s recommendations reflect the fact that the Dept. of Justice has more important priorities than harassing legitimate, taxpaying businesses," Don Murphy, the director of conservative outreach at the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement.

News of the findings comes as officials from Washington say that a recent letter they received from Sessions about the state’s legal marijuana system “raises concerns significantly” that a crackdown could be in the works. Colorado received a very similar letter that put forward a number of issues surrounding legal marijuana that authorities think could be used as an excuse for a crackdown in the future. For now though, the letters suggest that the policy of little federal interference will continue at least for the near future.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.