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Marijuana Advocates Worried If Jeff Sessions Named Attorney General

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There are different reactions from people on either side of the marijuana debate after President-elect Donald Trump tapped Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as the US Attorney General.

"Absolutely thrilled," said one woman.

"I was horrified," said another.

Supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization woke up to the news on Friday. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is Donald Trump's choice as the nation's top law enforcement official.

"I think this is the only hope we have," said Carla Lowe.

She is the founder of Citizens Against Legalization of Marijuana. She's been fighting the war on drugs for decades and would like to see federal law prevail.

"He has said this [marijuana] is not good. It's not good for our children, it's not good for our communities, it's not good for our environment," explained Lowe.

Sen. Sessions has previously expressed his dislike for marijuana.

"Good People don't smoke marijuana," he stated during a Senate Caucus of International Narcotics Control meeting.

Some in the cannabis industry fear he might act if given the opportunity.

"This is serious business," said Marcia Blount.

She works with several organizations in favor of loosening marijuana regulations. Blount says Sen. Sessions is a nightmare pick that could set marijuana legislation back decades.

"We are all afraid," said Blount.

But there is some hope for marijuana supporters. Sen. Sessions and President-elect Trump may not exactly see eye-to-eye on the marijuana issue.

"Trump in the past has said he would leave it up to the states. I was going to take him at his word," said Blount.

If Trumps administration were to act on marijuana they may have to fight more than half the country.
28 States have some form of marijuana legalization on the books.

Organizations in California say they're focused on the immediate.

Lori Ajax with the Bureau of Marijuana Control wrote "Right now, our primary focus is developing the licensing and enforcement regulatory framework for medical and adult use cannabis. It's too soon to tell what impact, if any, this appointment will have on the mission we're trying to achieve."

Others in the industry, including Nate Bradley with the California Cannabis Industry Association wrote " President –elect Trump has stated that cannabis regulation is best left to states to decide. Given that voters in numerous states have already weighed in on this issue, we expect that trend to continue."

The job isn't Sessions' yet. He must be confirmed by the Senate.

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