02.28.2017
policy

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Puts Legal Weed States on Notice

Trump’s AG has a hard-on for your favorite herb.

President Trump’s newly confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is wasting no time stoking fears that he intends to disrupt the legal marijuana industry. Speaking to reporters Monday, February 27, at the Justice Department, the AG cited increased THC levels, violence linked to the cannabis trade, and the spread of marijuana’s harms from weed-legal states to neighboring states that are in compliance with federal cannabis prohibitions as reasons why weed may be in for a harsh near future.

Sessions’s arguments for revisiting the current hands-off federal marijuana policy were summed up by Politico:

"I believe it's an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago.
"Experts are telling me there's more violence around marijuana than one would think, and there's big money involved."
Sessions spoke sympathetically about the state of Nebraska's filing of a lawsuit to block the flow of marijuana from Colorado, which voted to legalize pot in 2012 and began allowing commercial production in 2014.

On February 16, Las Vegas, Nevada-based U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, an employee of the Sessions Justice Department, sent a letter to the Moapa Paiute Tribe reminding them that the High Times Cannabis Cup, scheduled to take place on tribal lands in early March, is in violation of federal law.

Cannabis Cup organizers have expressed hope that Bogden’s letter resulted from a misunderstanding and that a compromise can be worked out.

'I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana.' 

Sessions, however, does not sound like a person in a position of great power and high authority who is also seeking a compromise.

"I'm definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana," Sessions told reporters. "I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not."

Does that statement sound like someone seeking common ground and compromise with the emerging cannabis culture? Or like the veiled threats of an emerging war-on-drugs crusader?

"We're going to look at it,” promised the Attorney General, “and try to adopt responsible policies."

That word responsible is a wild card when applied to America's top federal cop. Responsible has the ring of a word that could be a good thing. Responsible sounds almost like reasonable, or sensible, as in fair-minded and equitable.

Except, what we forgot to tell you up top, Sessions started off his chat with the press by quipping: "Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot." 

Apparently, the man feels responsible for preventing that from happening.

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