Newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out his preliminary diagnosis of crime in America on Monday during a speech prepared for the National Association of Attorneys General conference.
While crime in the U.S. has sharply fallen throughout the past four decades, Sessions said there are signs of an upswing in violence.
"My judgment is this is not a blip and we're seeing, I'm afraid, a longer term trend of violent crime going up, which is not what we want in America," Sessions said in his remarks.
He acknowledged that crime rates “remain near historic lows” and reassured his colleagues that America's justice system remains the best in the world.
“But in the last two years, we’ve seen clear warning signs — like the first gusts of wind before a summer storm — that this progress is now at risk,” Session said.
Sessions did however reignite the federal debate on marijuana use. "I don't think America will be a better place when more people, especially young people, smoke pot," he told reporters.
President Donald Trump has said numerous times that marijuana regulation should be left up to the states.