States Won't Back Down From Sessions On Marijuana

08 January, 2018, 04:57 | Author: Colin Gill
  • Jeff Sessions

That memo guided US attorneys that "the federal government has traditionally relied on state and local law enforcement agencies to address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws".

The U.S. attorney for Colorado took office in August 2016 after former President Barack Obama's appointee stepped down. She has not publicly said what her position will be on marijuana and did not immediately respond Thursday to messages.

Jane Stinson, a part owner of the retail marijuana shop Enlighten Alaska in Anchorage, worries about the potential effect on her business, which had been looking to grow and is negotiating a lease for another building.

Sessions' move also infuriated Republican U.S. Sen.

The author of the Obama administration's policy, James Cole, told the AP it was meant to put states on notice that they had to regulate the industry and the federal government would still prosecute cases that threatened public safety.

In his memo Sessions said, "Prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutors". Colorado, Washington, California and several other states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, notwithstanding federal prohibitions.

Advocacy groups said the Sessions revision not only flouted the president's previous commitments to local democracy but also amounts to bad public policy.

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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". That environment will not change because of a memo from the attorney general, Little said. Investment in the marijuana industry will probably dip.

But at Green Dragon, Levine said the move won't cause any changes and they won't slow growth plans or scale back any operations.

"The previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission", wrote Sessions, according to NBC.

Prosecutors in Western states wanted guidance from the Justice Department when the likelihood of state marijuana legalization became clear in 2010 and 2011.

"We have hundreds of millions of dollars invested, tens of millions of dollars in taxes we're anticipating that we've already budgeted, and thousands of employees making a good wage who will be affected", Segerblom said. His legislation has support on both sides of the aisle, he insists, but members who oppose it have kept it from coming to a floor vote. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade.

"The memo set out harms we saw associated with marijuana" but essentially said that otherwise "let's let the states deal with this", Cole told CNN.

Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote.

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