08 Nov Why Jeff Sessions was *not* this week’s most important cannabis news
Tuesday’s elections were historic for many reasons. More women ran for office than ever before. Many of them won. Colorado elected the first openly-gay governor in history. For the first time in eight years, Democrats took control of the House. Meanwhile, President Trump relished the ousting of opponents, celebrated the Republicans retaining control of the Senate, and lashed out at reporters.
In the cannabis community, most of the attention has focused on the three states — Missouri, Michigan, and Utah — that legalized marijuana in some form. (North Dakota voters defeated their state legalization measure.) Cannabis stocks skyrocketed on Wednesday, after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a notorious hater of potheads everywhere.
But for legalization advocates, the most significant result of the midterms may lie with the flipping of the House — and the ousting of an entirely different man named Sessions.
Pete Sessions had represented his suburban Dallas district in Congress for over 20 years. It seemed improbable, in such a red district, that he could be unseated by a Democrat.
Thanks largely to marijuana activists, on Tuesday, he lost his long-held congressional seat. During his tenure in Congress, Sessions had served as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, where he wielded the power to stop any bill on marijuana. He declared any new pro-pot bill “out of order.” That way, he made sure Congress could never hold hearings on cannabis legislation. But after he blocked bills which would’ve allowed veterans to talk to their doctors about cannabis, vets organized rallies. Their supporters erected billboards in Sessions’ district.
He also faced a tough challenger. Colin Allred is a former NFL player, as well as a civil-rights lawyer. On Tuesday, in a historic victory, Allred defeated Sessions.
Now national marijuana bills — like the bipartisan STATES Act, which would leave marijuana laws up to the states — may actually stand a chance.