Guardian - In February, the newly-appointed US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, indicated he backed a hardline stance against marijuana.
Also that month, the top prosecutor in the country’s third-most populous county announced that possession of small amounts of the drug would be decriminalised in the Houston, Texas, area.
That prosecutor, Kim Ogg, was the first Democratic district attorney in nearly four decades, defeating her Republican rival in an election last November that saw an energized movement to oust bad prosecutors.
Ogg is part of a wave of local leaders – many newly elected – who are barrelling ahead with plans to reform the criminal justice system at the local level, even as Sessions has expressed his desire to reintroduce harsher sentences for drugs and other nonviolent crimes. In Texas, Ogg is also contending with state Republican leaders prepared to fight against progressive reforms at every turn.