Changing perceptions of marijuana and possible job and tax money losses could thwart Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ plans to crack down on the drug, two former U.S. attorneys said Thursday at a pro-marijuana gathering in Aspen.
“Nothing gets you unelected quicker than people losing jobs,” said Bill Nettles, former U.S. attorney for South Carolina. “Putting people out of work is bad politics.”
Nettles, who left his post a year ago, and Barry Grissom, who left his job as U.S. attorney in Kansas in April 2016, spoke Thursday at a legal seminar put on by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws at The Gant.
Republicans like to talk about job creation, but if a threatened crackdown on states that have legalized recreational marijuana starts to eliminate jobs, Sessions and President Donald Trump could have a problem, Nettles said. Same thing goes for a reduction in tax money for a state like Colorado, he said.
“(Losing jobs and tax money) is an argument that’s persuasive to them,” Nettles said. “You lose 120,000 jobs in one jobs report, that’s big.”