America’s recreational pot industry has always existed in a nebulous place, legally speaking, with a few scattered states giving it the okay while the federal government uncomfortably looks the other way, occasionally shrugging and muttering, “I don’t know, whatever you kids feel like you’ve got to do.” That “cool dad” attitude is expected to take a monstrous hit today, though, with CNN reporting on sources that say Attorney General Jeff Sessions is likely to rescind a series of Obama-era memos that directed a “hands-off” approach to federal marijuana enforcement.
Known as the Cole memo, those guidelines instructed federal law enforcement to basically ignore that funny smell coming out of Oregon and Colorado, as long as its residents weren’t funneling the money to drug cartels, or letting their legal pot fall into the hands of kids.
It’s not clear what Sessions intends to do in place of the guidelines once he pulls them, though. He might put stricter policies into place—he’s promised a “rational” marijuana response plan in the past, whatever the hell “rational” means in terms of our current administration—or he might just go back to the old ways: Silently glaring at the states, daring them to step outside the bounds of federal law, with no real understanding of when the hammer of enforcement might fall. Who says pot (regulation, haphazardly enforced by a government functionally at war with itself) doesn’t make you paranoid, huh?