Colorado governor-elect Jared Polis, a staunch supporter of legal pot, said Sessions “had it out for states that have legalized marijuana.”

“No question about that,” Polis, a Democrat, said in an interview. “In an ideal situation, the next attorney general would recognize the rights of states, like Colorado, to responsibly legalize and regulate marijuana and not interfere or even threaten to interfere.”

Even Cory Gardner, a staunchly conservative Republican senator from Colorado, tweeted a subtle jab at Sessions after his departure: “I look forward to continuing to work with the president to fulfill his campaign position to leave the regulation of marijuana to the states.”

While it’s hard to know exactly what, if anything, acting Atty. Gen. Matthew Whitaker will do on the issue, activists are hopeful they’ve escaped the toughest scrutiny. Although he hasn’t spoken at length about his views on marijuana, Whitaker, during his 2014 candidacy for an Iowa Senate seat, sympathized with users of medical cannabis.