US Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week rescinded the Cole Memorandum, an Obama-era directive that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalised cannabis. Cory Gardner of Colorado - spoke out last week against Sessions.
Even so, in light of Sessions' move, "what we expect is major pushback" to make sure that the amendment protecting medical marijuana programs remains in place when Congress takes up the spending bill later this month, she said. "They're going to avoid all these problems, the problems that we're facing right now where you have one policy at the federal level, another policy at the state level and nobody knows what's going on".
Strekal said NORML's Colorado chapter had reached out to Sen.
Members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation; led by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; sent a bipartisan letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to reverse his decision on the Cole Memorandum. In a Senate hearing past year, he said, "Good people don't smoke marijuana", adding that it should not be legalized. He said, "My opinion is this is a direct attack on states' rights and the will of the people in states". "President Trump has recognized medical marijuana as an appropriate exception to federal enforcement policy", Hutchinson said, "but he's not said the same thing about recreational use".
'Gardner, who is not a left-wing kook, is clearly furious with what the Justice Department is doing'. It further articulated a position by the federal government that in states that had enacted laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct, the federal government meant to take a "hands-off" approach regarding the enforcement of such conduct, which, over the past several years, has led to very few prosecutions and a growing marijuana economy.
Yes, Sessions deserves the flack he gets for his outdated views on marijuana, which he says is "only slightly less awful" than heroin. Legal retail marijuana sales are due to begin in MA this year under the terms of a voter initiative passed in 2016. "He probably would have gotten more bang for his buck if he had done it prior to that", Kamin noted.
General's office is not to use federal resources to go after pot business, but instead leave it up to different USA attorneys to enforce their own policy.
And that, according to Kamin, can be a recipe for legal chaos.
"Sessions notably did not order federal prosecutors to begin a stepped-up assault on marijuana, instead saying he would leave the decision up to each of the country's 93 USA attorneys".
Attorney General Sessions is right when he says the Justice Department should be focused on addressing serious crimes. They should have the right to do so without wondering what the next US attorney general will want.
A majority of states have decriminalized marijuana, made recreational use legal or approved medical marijuana, according to NORML, which tracks cannabis laws.
Colorado, which in 2014 became the first US state to legalize recreational use of the drug, collected $226.2 million in marijuana-related taxes, licenses and fees in the first 11 months of 2017, according to state data.