Marijuana legalization activists are organizing a national “Day of Action” on Monday to protest the potential confirmation of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the nation’s attorney general.
Sessions, a 70-year-old Republican who has served as a U.S. senator for nearly two decades, has been outspoken against the legalization of recreational marijuana, among other issues. His Nov. 18 nomination by president-elect Donald Trump was a cloud on the horizon for legalization proponents who, just 10 days earlier, hailed the passage of cannabis legalization measures in eight U.S. states.
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Industry members have since expressed concern that Sessions could decide to crack down on the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry, the medical marijuana programs in 28 states and other U.S. territories, and the recreational marijuana programs in eight states.
On Friday, the marijuana advocacy group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) laid out plans for a Day of Action on Jan. 9, when its members and supporters will mobilize to speak out against the possible appointment.
“Sen. Sessions’ views are out of step with mainstream America and they are in conflict with the laws of over half of the states,” NORML executive director Erik Altieri said in a statement. “We must demand that senators ask this nominee whether he intends to respect the will of the voters in these states, and whether he truly believes that no ‘good people’ have ever smoked pot and, if he truly believes such an outrageous claim, he should not be the next attorney general.”
Day of Action participants will be “flooding” senators’ phone lines to demand that Sessions not be confirmed if he does not respect state marijuana laws, NORML officials said. The effort also will include a social media campaign promoted with the #JustSayNoToSessions hashtag.
NORML’s protest plans come just days after pro-marijuana group DCMJ based in Washington, D.C., announced its members would hand out 4,200 joints in advance of Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Sessions’ confirmation hearings will take place Jan. 10 and Jan. 11.