Trump Administration Threatens MJ Legalization
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Trump Administration Threatens MJ Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on January 04, 2018 at 08:30:36 PT
By Charlie Savage and Jack Healy
Source: New York Times
Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration on Thursday will free federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, effectively threatening to undermine the legalization movement that has spread to six states, most recently California.The Justice Department is expected to rescind an Obama-era policy of discouraging federal prosecutors from bringing charges of marijuana-related crimes in states that had legalized sales of the drug.
It was not immediately clear whether the administration intends to carry out a federal crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, or is merely rattling its saber. The Associated Press first reported the announcement, and a government official familiar with the matter confirmed that the change would be announced later on Thursday.The move is likely to increase the confusion surrounding whether it is legal to sell, buy or possess marijuana in the United States. Federal law has long prohibited those activities, and in 2013, after voters in Colorado and Washington State voted to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use, the Justice Department deliberated about how to handle the resulting disconnect between state and federal law.Ultimately, the Obama administration decided not to sue such states, and the Justice Department issued a policy memo instructing federal prosecutors to de-prioritize marijuana-related prosecutions in those states — except in certain cases, such as when there were sales to children or gang-related activity.If a statue is on the federal books, it needs to be removed, modified, or enforced. Blinding your eyes and ignoring a law, is an admission...That policy is known as the “Cole memo” after the then-deputy attorney general who issued it, James Cole. It is that document that is expected to be rescinded on Thursday.The federal government’s hands-off approach allowed a new industry to flourish in states that had decided to legalize and regulate marijuana use and sales for recreational and medical use. In Colorado, one of the first states to broadly legalize the drug for adult use, marijuana sales now top $1 billion each year and thousands of people work in the industry, in jobs ranging from “bud trimmers” to marijuana tour guides for out-of-state visitors.Huge grow warehouses sprouted up inside old industrial neighborhoods, and companies that produce marijuana-laced candies, infusions and drinks have large-scale production facilities — all of which may now have a bull’s-eye on their backs.“I do expect to see the larger investors and businesses targeted,” said Kevin Sabet, a prominent critic of legalized marijuana and former drug-control policy official in the Obama administration, who praised the step. “I’m not sure whether local mom-and-pop marijuana shops will be affected.”California began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana on Monday, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada. Massachusetts and possibly Maine are expected to begin sales this year.Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization as a United States senator from Alabama. At his confirmation hearing in January, he said he saw value in how the Obama administration evaluated whether to spend resources on prosecuting marijuana cases in states that had legalized the drug.“I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law,” he said, “but absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government.”Still, he added, there was legitimate criticism that prosecutors may have shied away from cases that they could have successfully prosecuted.The Justice Department’s move is likely to have the biggest effect on major funding sources for marijuana retailers and large-scale growing and production operations, said Mr. Sabet, who is president of an advocacy group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana.“It puts the industry on notice in these states who thought they had cover from the states and the feds,” he said. “All these people are going to wake up today with a bit of a heartache because they thought were scot-free, when in reality, they’re not.”Senator Cory Gardner, Republican of Colorado, reacted angrily to the news. He accused Mr. Sessions of violating promises had made and threatened retaliation.“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states,” Mr. Gardner wrote on Twitter, adding: “I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.”Mr. Gardner also retweeted a video of President Trump telling a Colorado journalist in a July 2016 interview that if he were elected, he would not use federal authority to shut down sales of recreational marijuana in states that had legalized it.“I think it’s up to the states,” Mr. Trump said then. “I am a states person. I think it should be up to the states. Absolutely.”Charlie Savage reported from Washington, and Jack Healy from Denver.Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Charlie Savage and Jack HealyPublished: January 4, 2018Copyright: 2018 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on January 04, 2018 at 15:08:28 PT
The outcome from the ignoid's actions will be positive for WE THE PEOPLE in the long run.Sit tight. Many who have been sitting back and observing will rise to the occasion. The little stinker has no clue.Cannabis is more popular than the prez and Sessions has no popularity. Predict He will be looking for a job soon.-0-“This is outrageous”: Politicians react to news that A.G. Sessions is rescinding the Cole Memo will see Democrats AND Republicans join to stop Sessions.We are winners.Sessions is a (DOESN'T GET IT) loser.Simple math.
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Comment #5 posted by Soupherb on January 04, 2018 at 13:09:38 PT:
Baby needs attention
Well our pathological potus has stepped up to get kicked out.
Last night I saw on TV the dotard did not want to win the election only to gain attention to "his brand".
So now with Cannabis being the most talked about positive thing in the world this RWNJ is threatening to take the ball home with him so nobody can play. WOW!
Truth is these politicians aren't playing with a full deck and are missing the entire game themselves ball or no ball, so to say.The world will have an underground network as usual and Sessions will continue the status quo of locking up minorities that get caught and put them in the prisons for profit system started not so long ago that would or is or will make Sessions very wealthy the same way the Bush family collects millions for drug testing programs.You see? Follow the money.
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Comment #4 posted by John Tyler on January 04, 2018 at 11:31:59 PT
Not smart at all
This is going to cause unnecessary political turmoil and create political enemies where none existed before. The legal and medical states now have money and political backing and are going to resist. This is not a political fight that the Trump administration needed at all. It will be costly and the administration and Republicans in general will lose. November 2018 will be here before too long and the voters just need another reason to vote against Trump and any other Republican unfortunate enough to be on the ballot. Not smart at all.
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Comment #3 posted by afterburner on January 04, 2018 at 09:22:32 PT
Trump Does not Need More Trouble
Consider the flack that the recent book by Michael Wolff criticizing the Trump family and his administration has caused. President Trump would do well to curry favor with the cannabis legalization community as he promised on the campaign trail.Mr. Trump, put AG Jeff Sessions in his place. You are, after all, the Commander-in-Chief.Meanwhile, some of the legalization states have already threatened to withhold state support for any Federal witch hunt.
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on January 04, 2018 at 08:34:28 PT
Sessions going against we the people!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 04, 2018 at 08:31:22 PT
I am not surprised though.
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