It’s 2018 and while I have been out traveling a bit I did notice the immaculate shit-storm brewing within the U.S cannabis industry. What am I talking about?
Our favorite underling to the Trump administration [Jeff Sessions] decided to open his mouth mere days after California started selling legal cannabis. What did he have to say?
"In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the department's finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions," Sessions said in a memo to all federal prosecutors.
"These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community."
Essentially, he rescinded the “Cole Memo” which was issued by Jim Cole while serving under Obama. The memo was basically directing prosecutors to acknowledge that cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but to rather allocate resources on more serious problems. Or in basic terms, “leave legal cannabis alone, focus on crime”.
Sessions, the pre-historic troll he is, decided that “this approach won’t do”. While the federal government still has its hands tied in terms of “available funds” to actually carry out these prosecutions, it does give them more incentive to crack down on the cannabis industry.
This of course has the cannabis industry sweating bullets. We saw a drop in stock prices and some other ripple effects within the industry.
While this all might seem like dire news to everyone, there is something strange that occurred on the sidelines.
Sessions the Unifier
The left and the right don’t frequently agree on issues, however when it came to Sessions’ new approach to legal cannabis there was a unified action from politicians on every side warning Sessions to leave cannabis alone.
Here’s some of the comments from the left and right;
Cory Gardner (Colo.)
“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.
“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.”
Dean Heller (Nev.)
“Knowing Attorney General Sessions' deference to states' rights, I strongly encourage the DOJ to meet with Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt to discuss the implications of changes to federal marijuana enforcement policy. I also urge the DOJ to work with the congressional delegations from states like Nevada that have legalized marijuana as they review and navigate the new policy.”
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
“Over the past year I repeatedly discouraged Attorney General Sessions from taking this action and asked that he work with the states and Congress if he feels changes are necessary. Today's announcement is disruptive to state regulatory regimes and regrettable.”
Rand Paul (Ky.)
“I continue to believe that this is a states’ rights issue, and the federal government has better things to focus on.”
Mike Coffman (Colo.)
“Attorney General Sessions needs to read the Commerce Clause found in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that limits the power of the federal government to regulate interstate and not intrastate commerce. The decision that was made to legalize marijuana in Colorado was made by the voters of Colorado and only applies within the boundaries of our state. Colorado had every right to legalize marijuana and I will do everything I can to protect that right against the power of an overreaching federal government.”
Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.)
“The attorney general of the United States has just delivered an extravagant holiday gift to the drug cartels. By attacking the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly favor marijuana legalization, Jeff Sessions has shown a preference for allowing all commerce in marijuana to take place in the black market, which will inevitably bring the spike in violence he mistakenly attributes to marijuana itself. He is doing the bidding of an out-of-date law enforcement establishment that wants to wage a perpetual weed war and seize private citizens’ property in order to finance its backward ambitions.”
As you can see, there is a lot of bipartisan support on the issue of cannabis and while Sessions is poised to resuscitate the dying drug war…the American people has evolved past these contrarian ideals. I personally don’t think Sessions is going to have as much fun with the entire “trying to squash marijuana deal” he’s got clamoring inside his de-evolved noggin, especially when the left and the right unite against him.
For Trump, whose ratings are dismal to say the least, this move only taints his shirt with another blotter of shit.