Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes no bones about his opinion on marijuana legalization.
He told reporters he doesn’t think America will become a better place if more people, especially young people, smoked marijuana. The Hill reports on Sessions’ interview at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Sessions not in favor of marijuana use
Sessions says he is not in favor of marijuana legalization and use. States can make the laws they like. However, he will stick to the fact that it remains against federal law to distribute marijuana in every part of the US, no matter what state laws say.
What will states say? It seems unlikely they’ll take this lying down!
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Sessions claims violence connected to marijuana legalization
Sessions used the potency of marijuana as an argument. He says that the THC levels in marijuana are much higher than a few years ago. Surprisingly, he claims that this leads to violence arising.
Legal cannabis involves a lot of money and attracts violent crime says Sessions. Consequently, his attitude prevents him from considering that taking cannabis distribution off the black market might help.
Guidelines under review
Sessions confirmed there is currently a review of a set of guidelines on federal enforcement regarding marijuana use and attempts at prosecution. The guidelines under review are known as the Cole memo, named after the Deputy Attorney General James Cole. They lay down the federal role of law enforcement in states where marijuana is legally sold.
The Cole memo focuses on ways to restrain drug-related violence. In addition, it hopes to prevent the supply of drugs to minors, looks at ways of curbing drug cartels, and ways to prevent marijuana transportation to states where it is illegal by federal law.
Attorney General Sessions says most states have some limits on marijuana, and people are violating those limits. He is looking into that, and will try to provide appropriate policies.
In 2013 the DOJ declared it would not confront states’ marijuana legalization laws. Is this about to change? Sessions is making a lot of people very worried indeed.
Expect federal law enforcement
Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, recently said states should expect enforcement of federal law against the recreational use of cannabis.
Currently, people can use cannabis legally in eight states plus the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, more states allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana legally. So far, Federal government seems to be gunning for recreational cannabis only.
How sad is the regression?
People have been celebrating new freedoms to decide what’s best for them. Above all, they hope to see fewer people jailed for victimless crimes and less pressure on law enforcement. State citizens voted on the subject and chose to allow recreational marijuana. However, it seems the majority will have to bow to one man’s opinion.
Cannabis legalization has economic benefits and hasn’t seemed to result in crime waves, but now, the undoing of all this work seems almost inevitable. Will the Federal government really step in? Sessions seems to think it should.