Alabama, Jeff Sessions' Home State, Supports Cannabis

Who Is Jeff Sessions Serving? Survey Data Shows Republicans and Sessions’ Home State of Alabama Support Cannabis Legalization

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is adamantly anti-cannabis, a position he made clear with his termination of the Cole Memo last week.

But where does Sessions’ strong disposition against pot come from? It is the wish of his party and home state of Alabama that he’s adhering to?

According to the numbers – and the news – it looks like Sessions is acting alone on this issue.

In Alabama, both medical and recreational cannabis are illegal, but it is one of 18 states with “CBD-only” laws. In the case of Alabama, CBD products containing 3% of THC or less are permitted for medical-use but are apparently hard to come by.

The Green Market Report’s partners at Consumer Research Around Cannabis surveyed people in the Birmingham, Alabama area last year to see what people living in a deep-south “red state” thought about cannabis legalization. The survey covered 21 counties surrounding the city and not just the more democratic leaning urban areas.

According to the numbers, 60.2% of respondents in Alabama support cannabis legalization, for medical and/or recreational use. That number is very close to the Pew Research Center’s national average of 61%.

When analyzed according to political beliefs, the numbers didn’t vary significantly; 55.3% of self-identifying “conservatives” in Birmingham also support cannabis legalization, for medical and/or recreational use. Again, this number was very close to the Republican national average taken by Gallup last year, which reported 51% of conservatives support full legalization.

Clearly, Sessions isn’t taking cues from his political party or home state. According to the Consumer Research Around Cannabis data, only 13.9% of the Birmingham respondents disapproved of cannabis legalization – putting Sessions in a small minority.

The Republican Response

On top of that, many powerful Republicans have come out publicly denouncing Sessions’ move against the Cole Memo last week. Including Republican Senator from Colorado, Cory Gardner, who told Sessions that the Department of Justice will not receive approvals for their nominees until Sessions reverses his marijuana policy.

Even President Trump “promised” to keep marijuana legalization a state issue during his campaign. But Sessions continues to act in defiance of his political party, home state, and the American people, 71% of which oppose a federal crackdown on states with legal cannabis, according to a Quinnipiac poll. He must be fighting for all those “good people” who “don’t smoke marijuana.”

Michelle Janikian

Michelle Janikian is a freelance writer focused on cannabis policy and trends. In addition to writing for the Green Market Report, she is also a regular contributor to High Times with bylines in Rolling Stone and Teen Vogue. Before dedicating herself to writing full-time, Michelle was the Lead Project Manager at BrainBuzz, a content marketing company focused on the cannabis industry. She has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied writing and psychology. You can follow her on Twitter @m00shian.


  • Justin Case

    January 10, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    CBD products can only contain .3% THC or less, not 3%.


    • Debra Borchardt

      January 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      The writer replied, “According to Leni’s Law in Alabama, CBD products may contain 3% THC.”


  • Justin Case

    January 21, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Well, good for Alabama because for cannabis to be considered hemp, it must contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dry weight. 3% (three) THC WILL produce psychoactive effects for a novice user high despite what Leni’s Law has to say. Texas limits THC to .05%, Utah .03%, TN less than .09% and WY is at .03% for CBD rich product. Who would have thought AL would be so liberal?


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