Jeff Sessions: Wrong on Opioids and Violence, Considers RICO Lawsuits

  • by Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director March 10, 2017
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions Photo by Gage Skidmore

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
    Photo by Gage Skidmore

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt to discuss a range of issues, including how the Trump administration intends to address marijuana law enforcement in states that are regulating its adult use.

    During the interview, Hewitt repeatedly encourages Sessions to engage in federal prosecutions against state-licensed marijuana providers.

    Hugh Hewitt (HH): Let’s talk about the rule of law. I have a piece coming out in the Washington Post about this on Sunday, Attorney General Sessions. One RICO prosecution against one marijuana retailer in one state that has so-called legalization ends this façade and this flaunting of the Supremacy Clause. Will you be bringing such a case?

    Jeff Sessions (JS): We will — Um — Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide. It’s not possible for the federal government, of course, to take over everything the local police used to do in a state that’s legalized it. And I’m not in favor of legalization of marijuana. I think it’s a more dangerous drug than a lot of people realize. I don’t think we’re going to be a better community if marijuana is sold in every corner grocery store.

    HH: No, but it would literally take one racketeering influence corrupt organization prosecution to take all the money from one retailer, and the message would be sent. I mean, if you want to send that message, you can send it. Do you think you’re going to send it?

    JS: Well, we’ll be evaluating how we want to handle that. I think it’s a little more complicated than one RICO case, I’ve got to tell you. This, places like Colorado, it’s just sprung up a lot of different independent entities that are moving marijuana. And it’s also being moved interstate, not just in the home state.

    HH: Yes.

    JS: And neighbors are complaining, and filed lawsuits against them. So it’s a serious matter, in my opinion. And I just came from a big rally in New Hampshire yesterday, Hugh. This is, this opioid problem is just huge. There were 9,000 high school and junior high school students there. A mother I met who had lost a son three months before, a child, and she said there were 50 more mothers there who’d lost children speaking to those kids. We’ve had this huge opioid surge in America, 120 people a day die from drug overdose. And I do believe, and the President has issued an order to the Department of Justice to crack down on drugs and these international cartels that are moving this Fentanyl that’s so deadly into our country. And we’re going to step up that in a very vigorous way as I talk to United States Attorneys yesterday by conference call.

    Predictably, Sessions’ responses — in particular his reaffirmation: “Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide.” — follows the path laid out by The Heritage Foundation’s Cully Stimson, who on February 27th, released an 11-point plan on how to “provide a targeted approach to [federal] marijuana enforcement.” The Heritage Foundation proposal specifically calls for the Department of Justice to use RICO laws to target state-licensed marijuana businesses:

    1. Prosecute those dealing in marijuana—which is illegal under federal law—using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Those who engage in a pattern of racketeering activity through a corporation or other enterprise are liable for three times the economic harm they cause. RICO gives federal courts the power to order racketeering enterprises and their co-conspirators to cease their unlawful operations.

    The Attorney General also repeats two overt myths regarding cannabis, claiming that the enactment of marijuana regulatory schemes are somehow linked with violent crime and opioid abuse. As NORML recently points out in op-eds here and here, both of these claims are categorically untrue.

    At the end of the day, when the Attorney General of the United States publicly contemplates the federal prosecution of those in the adult use marijuana industry, we should take these threats seriously.

    That is why we need to continue to be proactive in pushing Congress to end federal marijuana prohibition and be ready to fight back at every level should Sessions follow through on his recent statements.

    Click here to tell your member of Congress and urge them to support HR 1227, the Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.

    And click here to sign up as a NORML monthly supporter to make sure that we have the resources to support our chapters in the upcoming legal battles to protect the states that have legalized adult-use marijuana.

    Thanks for all you do and stay vigilant.

    74 responses to “Jeff Sessions: Wrong on Opioids and Violence, Considers RICO Lawsuits”

    1. John says:

      I think it is very funny how all the politicians and the American legal system can let Politicians get away with so DAMNED much treason , every day. Like the crap The Clinton’s and Obamma has been doing.High TREASON against America , that has been killing American’s and breaking this whole beautiful country down. But istead of prosecuting those TREASONIST SONS OF BITCHES , they are going to go after something that has proven to be very beneficial for medical purposes , just because they don’t like it. Or maybe more so , because they don’t know what the hell they are talking about !! The Trump people have been doing so much good , for a change, but now they have to take this on and in a very ignorant way as well !!

      • Four More Years says:

        Care to be specific about that Obama Treason thing… Republicans or Weed, Make a Choice,, you can’t have both.

      • Julian says:

        Do you READ? Or do you just regurgitate whatever you hear or watch on cable news? For f*cks sake, read the article above. You do know that Sessions was nominated by Trump? Or that Trump passed executive decisions to restart Drug War III?

    2. Mark Mitcham says:

      Jeff Sessions is a criminal (lied under oath during his confirmation hearings) and a traitor (the perjury was regarding his traitorous contacts with Russia, and the corresponding deal the Trump administration cut with Russia, to undermine American policy toward Russia.)

      Sessions is the one who needs to go to prison; that’s along with Trump, McConnell, Ryan, Rand, and every other Dumb-fuck Republicans who enabled and supported these goddamn traitors.

      And 40 percent of Republicans still support Trump? That’s called: “stuck on stupid.”

    3. Mothershould know says:

      SO Jeff Sessions answer to opiod abuse is to remove access to the only pain drug with no physical addiction, Namely Cannabis. A drug you can’t even overdose on. If you think he doesn’t know this already. You are wrong. His aims are obtuse and land in rich good old boys pockets.

    4. toby keith says:

      RICO-suaveyyyy! Ridiculous.

    5. Simon Hardinsky says:

      President Trump has appointed Dr. Scott Gottlieb to head the Food and Drug Administration. Last April, Dr. Gottlieb spoke in Philadelphia at a conference hosted by Greenhouse Ventures that was titled “Innovation in the Cannabis Industry”.

      Dr. Gottlieb is a pain management doctor who is based in New York who has had success in treating patients with marijuana who have neuropathic pain which involves injuries to nerves.

      [Paul Armentano responds: The person appointed by the administration shares the same name but is not the doctor in question.]

    6. csaaphill says:

      Fuck you Sessions! Doing this is good writing your state legislatures, but when that doesn’t work then what? Signs and protests haven’t done nothing!

    7. csaaphill says:

      JS: And neighbors are complaining, and filed lawsuits against them.
      That’s because their the minority and didn’t want legal weed so are being pussy’s.

    8. csaaphill says:

      Yep Buh Bye support is correct this fucker does this which looks like it’s coming Trump’s a one time or less term President.

    9. allen whisenand says:

      This is a matter for medical professionals to decide, not law enforcement.

    10. vickia 52 says:

      is he from another planet?

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