Marijuana is Violent! Said No One Ever
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leading a task force designed to crackdown on federal cannabis restrictions and punishments. Criminal justice advocates fear the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety will release a report that links violent crimes and cannabis within the week. Sessions believes harder policies on drugs will reduce drug abuse and violent behavior. In his mind, weed is that violent drug.
State’s Rights Under Threat
As of today, weed is still illegal under federal law. However, 8 states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational use while 21 states allow medical use. With Sessions’ new task force, the federal government is overreaching on state’s rights.
This aggressive crackdown on the least aggressive group of people, aka marijuana smokers, is not a divisive party issue. In fact, Republicans and Democrats alike are seeing Session’s task force as backwards and inhumane. Republican Senator Rand Paul told The Hill, “I will oppose anybody from the administration or otherwise that wants to interfere with state policies.”
Last month a legislation known as The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act was introduced. This act would amend federal law to allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies. And check out the heads pushing this act: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky).
Likewise, a bipartisan group of lawmakers launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus including Dana Rohrabacher (R-Ca.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), and Jared Polis (D-Co.). When the cannabis committee is headed by a bunch of guys that look like this, you know Sessions has a lot of catching up to do.
As we all recall during his campaign, President Trump promised not to touch state’s rights on marijuana. It’s painfully clear we cannot hold the President to his word. However, this has fueled more issues between Sessions and the President this past week, along with many other issues.
Roger Stone, ally of Trump, told the New York Times that the President initially bonded with Sessions because he was a tough guy. Now the President isn’t seeing this tough guy on his side. Trump wants Sessions’ aggressive policies when it benefits his needs, not make him look bad. Stone says, “There’s a lack of aggressiveness with Sessions, unless it involved chasing people for smoking pot.” The murky waters between the Attorney General and the President will only muddle issues in Capitol Hill. An outcome in which we are all terrified of and eager to see fail.
The outcome of Sessions’ task force review jeopardizes a multi-billion dollar industry. This could potentially be very destructive to the American economy. The legalization of cannabis generates massive amounts of revenue for the legalized states. However, the crackdown could destroy that as well as environmental and international policies. Since not much has yet been released, the industry, criminal justice advocates, and your high neighbor continue to wait around nervously for the dinosaurs to finish “reviewing” the law.