Why Democrats don’t want to talk about legalizing marijuana

Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said many Democrats are afraid of being seen as weak on drugs.

“I think it’s the scars left over from the ’80s and early ’90s where Republicans weaponized being soft on crime,” he said. Those charges, in his view, were “full of baloney.”

Altieri said championing legalization could pay political dividends for the party.

“In some ways that point may have passed to look like you are taking a principled stance,” he said. “[But] this action by Jeff Sessions should drive the Democrats.”