A task force convened by Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recommended largely keeping the federal status quo intact as it relates to state-approved legal cannabis programs, instead urging the Department of Justice to study legalization and work with Treasury officials on banking issues, according to an Associated Press review of the task force documents.

The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety report was not made public but many expected the recommendations would provide Sessions with an excuse to crackdown on legal cannabis regimes – medical or recreational – in states where it is legal. Until this point, Sessions has decided to follow the suggestions outlined in the Obama-era Cole Memo.

John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute who was interviewed by the task force, said the vague recommendations reflect an understanding that cracking down on the industry is neither plausible nor palatable.

“If they come out with a more progressive, liberal policy, the attorney general is just going to reject it,” he said in the report. “They need to convince the attorney general that the recommendations are the best they can do without embarrassing the entire department by implementing a policy that fails.”

The report says that officials “should evaluate whether to maintain, revise or rescind” Obama-era memos but does not push for any specific policy directions.

 

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