Last month, Jeff Sessions and the GOP went after medical marijuana protections and now Sessions is putting the entire legal cannabis industry in jeopardy. Sessions wrote a letter to all state attorney generals stating the Cole Memorandum (Cole memo) is to be rescinded immediately and adherence to the Controlled Substance Act is recommended.
This means that Obama-era policies of non-interference pertaining to states marijuana laws are no longer in place.
The Cole memo is the document drafted by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole that was the binding set of regulations states recreational cannabis laws were to obey. As long as states were in 100 percent compliance with these laws, federal prosecutors would abstain from the interference of cannabis related activities.
States like Colorado have shown how serious they are about following the Cole memo’s rules. Last month the state raided 13 recreational dispensaries for state law violations. Colorado did this on its own accord with no prompting or help from DEA or any other federal agencies.
In his letter, Sessions mentions the finite resources they’re managing to prosecute marijuana cases. He wants states to uphold the federal law which still labels cannabis as a schedule-one drug. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of Massachusetts said his office would aggressively pursue cannabis related crimes but the states recreational marijuana law isn’t to be addressed at this time.
While Lelling seems to be lock-step with Sessions assessment that this is a “return to law,” most-everyone else seems to be unanimously against the move and are standing against Sessions and defending the Cole memo. Washington Governor Jay Inslee suggested the public stand firm and resist while Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said “we’re not messing around” in regards to defending Washington’s cannabis industry.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer of the District of Colorado, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsome and the Koch brothers are just some of the law makers and policy influencers that disagree with Sessions attack on the cannabis industry.
It’s well known that the war on drugs perpetuates racial stereotypes dealing with drug use and disproportionately affects black and brown neighborhoods, systematically ruining thousands if not millions of people’s lives. For Sessions to restart a drug war that’s wasted billions of tax dollars with no positive impact to show for it; is downright insulting to the critically thinking voters of this country. The majority of whom support medical cannabis if not complete legalization.
Rachel Maddow On Jeff Sessions Decision To Rescind Cole Memo
Cannabis needs to be further researched to fully understand its benefits and detriments, but it’s unanimously agreed that it’s safer than opioids, which is plaguing our country. It’s also safer than alcohol and tobacco; both are legal and regulated by the government despite having no medical use whatsoever.
Trump’s stance during the 2017 election was to leave the states alone when it came to marijuana prosecution, a decision that held with President Obama and Attorney General Holder-era recommendations.
“I’m a states person, I think it should be up to the states,” Trump said.
However, Trump has been silent since Sessions rescinded the Cole memo. Trump hasn’t reigned in Sessions who has been attacking cannabis since he took his attorney general position. Trump has not kept to his word on many things since he was elected, and the states cannabis rights is another entry on that ever-growing list of lies.