Last Thursday, Trump’s Justice Department – headed by AG Jeff Sessions – overturned a 2013 Obama era policy concerning marijuana. The Obama era order called for the feds to not enforce federal marijuana law in states that have legalized it.
The danger here is real. Such an Obama era policy is a slap in the face to the important Constitutional idea of Rule of Law – just as much as DACA Amnesty is- and creates precedent for future Administrations to pick and choose what laws they want to enforce – ie, immigration laws and Amnesty.
The order further rolls back previous ruling that was also linked to the cannabis laws and its enforcement, while also instructing the U.S. Attorneys to “follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions.”
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and 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,” the Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”
This new information is to create further confusion to the currently emerging medical and recreational marijuana industries in many states across the U.S. and the currently ongoing regulatory laws and rulings in effect at the state level.
In other important orders that Session had nullified were the 2013’s Cole Memo, which was placed in effect by the Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole – of Obama administration. The Cole’s memo had addressed the initiative taken by the Washington and Colorado to Ballot – initiate the legalization of the Recreational marijuana. Cole in his memo had strictly addressed all the attorneys that the federal prosecutors should be exercising discretion so as not to enforce any bans on the Cannabis in states, which have legalized the marijuana use if the verdict is that it is adequate to end the drug, and gang related violence.
Cole had ordered the memo out of respect of the Traditional allotment of the several drug-enforcement responsibilities that the states have when the regimes in the state are not following the federal priorities.
As per the reports, sessions had in the past ensured the Senators that the state discretion strategy would not deviate from – which was promoted by the Obama Department of Justice Senator Cory Gardner who had been representing the States where all the recreational marijuana usage is perfectly legal, and also was responding to the news by condemning Sessions for not being able to fulfill the promises between Sessions and Gardner.
“I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation,” Gardner said in his tweet
The revoking of the Cole memo also got criticized by the supporters of the Marijuana Legalization like Erik Altieri – Executive Director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws – NORML saying that it “flies in the face of sensible public policy and broad public opinion. The American people overwhelmingly support the legalization of marijuana and oppose federal intervention in state marijuana laws by even wider margin. This move by the Attorney General will prove not just to be a disaster from a policy perspective, but from a political one.”
“There is no more safe haven with regard to the federal government and marijuana, but it’s also the beginning of the story and not the end,” Kevin Sabet, president and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in a statement. “This is a victory. It’s going to dry up a lot of the institutional investment that has gone toward marijuana in the last five years.”