Attorney General Jeff Sessions To Crackdown On State-Legal Marijuana

  • by NORML January 4, 2018

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded the Department of Justice’s hands-off policy towards state-legal marijuana.


    “By rescinding the Cole Memo, Jeff Sessions is acting on his warped desire to return America to the failed beliefs of the ‘Just Say No’ and Reefer Madness eras. This action flies in the face of sensible public policy and broad public opinion. The American people overwhelmingly support the legalization of marijuana and oppose federal intervention in state marijuana laws by an even wider margin. This move by the Attorney General will prove not just to be a disaster from a policy perspective, but from a political one. The American people will not just sit idly by while he upends all the progress that has been made in dialing back the mass incarceration fueled by marijuana arrests and destabilizes an industry that is now responsible for over 150,000 jobs. Ending our disgraceful war on marijuana is the will of the people and the Trump Administration can expect severe backlash for opposing it,” said Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director.

    The Cole Memo, a Justice Department memorandum, authored by former US Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013 to US attorneys in all 50 states, directs prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant’s production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

    During a Q and A with reporters in Richmond, VA in March of 2017, Jeff Sessions said, “The Cole Memorandum set up some policies under President Obama’s Department of Justice about how cases should be selected in those states and what would be appropriate for federal prosecution, much of which I think is valid,”

    Additionally in 2017, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) and Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued a letter to the new U.S. Attorney General and to Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin calling on them to uphold the largely ‘hands off’ policies toward marijuana legalization, as outlined in the Cole Memo. “Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences,” the governors wrote. “Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states.”

    Currently, medical marijuana protections are still in effect, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

    “At a time when the majority of states now are regulating marijuana use in some form, and when nearly two-thirds of voters endorse legalizing the plant’s use by adults, it makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or moral perspective for Attorney General Sessions to take this step” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “It is time that members of Congress take action to comport federal law with majority public opinion and to end the needless criminalization of marijuana — a policy failure that encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.”

    “If the Trump administration goes through with a crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana, they will be taking billions of dollars away from regulated, state-sanctioned businesses and putting that money back into the hands of drug cartels,” Strekal concluded.

    224 responses to “Attorney General Jeff Sessions To Crackdown On State-Legal Marijuana”

    1. Anonymous says:

      Look morons, arguing over political preferences is not going to solve a damn thing. Either be part of the solution or shut up.

    2. Rama says:

      Jeff sessions needs to be replaced right now. State and he is not working for the people of the United States. He does not support the agenda of President Trump. He has his own agenda and had colluded with the DOJ the FBI the CIA and the NSA.

      • Cat Cassie says:

        He wouldn’t do anything without traitor trumps blessing. Especially after he recused himself from the Russia investigation. I think this is coming from traitor trump because of a vengeance thing with California or to get the spotlight off of himself.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        @ Rama,
        Wrong. Sessions is Trump’s boy, and Sessions is Trump’s fault and blame.

        Sessions is to Trump as shit is to asshole.

        Sarah Huckabee just said, with respect to Trump and marijuana and California, “Trump supports enforcing federal law.”

        FUCK TRUMP!!!

        • Evening Bud says:

          “Sessions is to Trump as shit is to asshole.”

          A great quote, and so so accurate. And the Drumpf apologists are the toilet paper. They try, but just can’t wipe away the stinky mess . . .

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      What have I been saying since Putin Day, November, 2016? Trump is an enemy to marijuana legalization.

      This is all Trump.

      Don’t let any of them off the hook: Trump, Sessions, Bannon, Kelly, McConnell, Ryan, Nunes… they may be infighting, or they may be posturing, or both; but none of that makes ANY of them friends of the marijuana legalization movement!

      They all must go. Not one of them is worth a thing to us.

      Punish Trump by punishing his lackey Republicans, who keep him in power! Vote this year, on Election Day! Register now!

    4. Miles says:

      Jefferson Davis Beauregard Sessions III indeed. What an a$$hole!

    5. ElliG says:

      Little Beauregard should be placed in the corner with a timeout! He is doing all this based on his belief that cannabis is evil. Belief is not an excuse for not critically thinking. Obviously, this is not a skill little Beauregard practices.

    6. James says:

      Everybody, do not panic. This will not work, Jeff Sessions have committed an egregious act that goes against the public opinion of both parties and U.S. general consensus. He is now open to perjury penalty for his previous admittance that he will not prioritize going after marijuana.

      Again, everybody, do NOT panic. You will not see a change in availability of marijuana in your area, because this the actions of this unilateral fuckbag are in no way in-line with the opinion of any constitutionally-supported agency. We will push back against this so swiftly that you do not need to worry.

      (But be vigilant!)

    7. Kay Blake says:

      Sessions works for the Russians, and is trying to cause a civil war! What would Russians like more than to pit Americans against Americans and cause national turmoil.

    8. Michael Hennigan says:

      Time to protest.

    9. Mike L. Wallace Jr. says:

      Federal Marijuana Legalization is an admission of Guilt for many generations of Incarceration, Torture & Murder of Innocent Non-Violent Citizens. Part of Jeff Sessions job is to acquire funds to keep Law Enforcement & The Prison Industry running. Marijuana is his ONLY Quick Easy Solution. Good People don’t fight to keep the Safest most Beneficial Medicine illegal. Marijuana was / is / will always be “THE CURE”.

    10. Mark Wachter says:

      Sessions is the Shortest MAN I have Ever Seen. And he Lies about a Weed. My Taxes Pay for this?

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