Even before Phil Murphy is sworn in as governor, his promise to legalize recreational marijuana in the Garden State may have just come to a grinding halt. We all know that at the federal level marijuana has remained illegal even as many states passed laws legalizing its use. The feds have looked the other way since election day of 2012 when Washington and Colorado became the first states where voters legalized weed. What you may not know of is something called the Cole memo, put out shortly after that time. In brief, the Obama era memo let states that legalized marijuana enforce their own laws and instructed the Department of Justice to instead focus on keeping money out of the hands of drug cartels and marijuana out of the hands of children.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions changed all that on Thursday. He struck down the Cole memo, calling it "unnecessary" and told federal prosecutors to consider marijuana cases as they would any other criminal case but that they could use their discretion. In his memo, Sessions backs the outdated thinking that "marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime."

A serious crime.

With this kind of hyperbole and a rescinding of the Cole memo, it most certainly means that states which legalize recreational marijuana may be in for a rude awakening. Will New Jersey have the guts to stand up to this veiled threat from the federal government? We'll see. All I know for sure is Jeff Sessions is a throwback and like some buffoonish character straight out of the 1936 propaganda film Reefer Madness. Speaking of which we've included the original trailer for your viewing pleasure.

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