Attorney General Jeff Sessions is currently overseeing a sweeping Justice Department crackdown on leaks, but it appears he’s been busted making his own unauthorized disclosure.
Sessions held a closed-door meeting last week about drug policy with several longtime opponents of marijuana legalization. The agenda was supposed to be kept confidential, but internet sleuths noticed a photo from the gathering that showed Sessions holding a stack of papers with a partially visible document on top that listed all of the attendees and what they planned to discuss.
Here’s a transcription courtesy of Tom Angell, the pro-legalization activist and journalist who first spotted the exposed document:
Agenda Bertha Madras: Marijuana is not a substitute for opiates as a pain medication. Dr. Hoover Adger: The harm from today’s marijuana. Dr. Bob DuPont: The effect of marijuana on drugged driving. David Evans: The role that the Food and Drug Administration can and should [obscured] [obscured] The organizations you can speak for and what you and they are [obscured] people from recreational marijuana use. [obscured] law enforcement thinks of the commercialization of [obscured] law enforcement would support an enforcement initiative. [obscured] course of marijuana commercialization in the states if the [obscured] not intervene.
Sessions, who once said “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and previously supported giving pot dealers the death penalty, met recently with DOJ officials to discuss potential changes to the federal policy on marijuana enforcement. For now, the Obama administration’s hands-off approach to state-level legalization remains in effect. It’s clear, however — even without the leaked agenda — that Sessions is looking for ammo to justify a reversal.
Reporters were kicked out of the room before last Friday’s meeting of the anti-pot minds, but Sessions spoke to them briefly beforehand, calling marijuana legalization “a big issue for America” and reiterating his view that weed “is not a healthy substance.”
“I do believe, and I’m afraid, that the public is not properly educated on some of the issues related to marijuana,” Sessions said. “And that would be a matter that we could, all of us together, maybe be helpful in working on and that would allow better policy to actually be enacted.”
The slip-up from Sessions isn’t the first time a Trump administration official has been busted for failing to conceal a sensitive document. Last year, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who had been advising Trump on immigration issues before pivoting to lead a dubious commision on voter fraud, was photographed with a document that included proposals for tracking “all aliens from high-risk areas” and halting admissions of Syrian refugees.