3) It’s not clear Trump and Sessions’s new war on pot will do anything The one wrinkle in January’s big news for marijuana legalization was Trump’s Justice Department. Earlier this month, Sessions announced that he was rescinding an Obama-era memo that effectively told states that they can move forward with marijuana legalization without the threat of federal interference. This guidance was big: Since federal law still prohibits marijuana for any use, the threat of federal interference is a potential threat to legalization. The Obama administration, though, said that the federal government would not interfere as long as states met certain criteria (such as not letting legal pot fall into kids’ hands), and federal enforcement of those criteria was fairly loose. Sessions took back the Obama-era memo. In doing this, he did not order federal prosecutors to crack down on legal marijuana. Instead, he told them that they could use their own judgment based on “previously established prosecutorial principles” — allowing them to crack down on legal pot, but not requiring it. The intention here was clear. Sessions has long been an opponent of legalization, previously claiming that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and arguing that the federal government should use its law enforcement apparatus to shut down legal pot operations. “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s, in fact, a very real danger,” he said as a senator in 2016.