Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Jeff Sessions Fulfills Dream of Cracking Down on Legal Weed

Sessions Unleashes the Hounds on Pro-Pot States Sessions nixes Obama-era rules leaving states alone that legalize pot
Jerome Frank | 08 January, 2018, 04:57

The change allows for each state's USA attorney's to decide whether to aggressively enforce the federal marijuana law, even if it's also been made legal in their state.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual USA attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions. The Obama era guidelines gave some leeway on this point, stating that prosecutors should leave states well enough alone when it comes to legalizing marijuana, as long as these local decisions didn't interfere with federal law enforcement primary directives.

The state's former "marijuana czar", Andrew Freedman, said Sessions' only point was to create confusion but that the Justice Department can not force states to make pot illegal.

That reversed the election campaign stance by President Donald Trump favoring state marijuana laws, and set up a potential clash with the six USA states that have already moved ahead to legalize pot sales.

"It's going to hurt a lot of people if it does slow down, there are just too many people benefiting financially and with their health", said Steve Williams, a marijuana advocate for DFW NORML.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to rescind the Cole Memorandum", Jones said in a statement issued late Thursday.

"We don't know what this means", Durrett said of Sessions' comments. "Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states' rights only when they believe the state is right", Wyden said in a statement.

"By not having that (banking) access they tend to be an all-cash business and that's subject to more criminality, and it makes it more hard to collect taxes because without a banking relationship you don't have an audit trail", Coffman said. "After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century", California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.

Q: Can congress reverse Sessions' action - and would lawmakers be inclined to do so?

Lessar said, "The way I understand it the government just wants to be more involved in crimes like exporting and selling to children, which is not something I would necessarily be against, but we hear changes every day so it's still uncertain".

"Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies".

It's unclear now how the Justice Department's move will impact recreational and medical marijuana markets around the country. The legal pot sector extends to home growers, medical patients, industrial hemp operations and the millions of legal consumers in Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and now California.

"Jeff Sessions' obsession with marijuana prohibition defies logic, threatens successful state-level reforms, and flies in the face of widespread public support for legalization", said Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, a drug reform advocacy group. To say this is an established industry with thousands of people and livelihoods depending on it would be an understatement.

While Hutchinson said he intends to stand behind voters decision to approve medical marijuana, he made it clear he does want Arkansas to become a recreational use state. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade.

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