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WIRE: National Indian Cannabis Coalition concerned with Jeff Sessions nomination

Washington, D.C. – The National Indian Cannabis Coalition is concerned by President-Elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General of the United States. Sen. Sessions, a Republican Senator from Alabama, has a “documented history of harsh criticism towards cannabis legalization,” said Jeff Doctor, Executive Director of NICC.


As Attorney General, he would oversee enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act including the decision whether to prosecute cannabis related crimes in Indian Country.

If confirmed, NICC anticipates that President-Elect Trump’s appointment of Sen. Sessions would have a direct impact on current Department of Justice policy regarding enforcement of the marijuana violations of the Controlled Substances Act within Indian Country. Under the Obama Administration, DOJ policy allows each U.S. District Attorney to evaluate their resources and priorities when determining whether to prosecute marijuana crimes in Indian Country.

“This discretion allows some tribes a sliver of an opportunity to engage in a nearly post-prohibition era economic development opportunity,” said Doctor. “We believe all tribes should have the right to leverage their sovereignty and cautiously evaluate entering the cannabis industry with sound legal advice and solid partners. While President-Elect Trump has stated that he respects each state’s right to establish their own marijuana policies, we are concerned that an Attorney General Sessions will have both the desire and authority to derail the legalization efforts of cannabis-related policies at the tribal level.”

NICC believes this nomination effectively places a question mark over those tribes with dispensaries, state compacts in place or those tribes exploring the cannabis industry as a viable economic development opportunity.

NICC encourages the incoming Administration support tribal sovereignty by continuing to allow federally recognized tribes the option of pursuing economic development in the cannabis industry.

Said Doctor, “The only certainty is that Sessions appointment as Attorney General would create more uncertainty for tribes. NICC is committed to advocating for equal economic opportunity for Indian Tribes.”

For more information, please contact:

Jeff Doctor (

Executive Director

National Indian Cannabis Coalition

819 7th Street, 4th Floor

Washington, DC 20001


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