Trump Fires Attorney General

By Julia Edwards Ainsley and Dan Levine, Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump fired the federal government’s top lawyer Sally Yates on Monday after she took the extraordinarily rare step of defying the White House and saying the Justice Department would not defend his new travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

attorney general sally yatesThe White House said on Twitter that Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, would replace Yates, an appointee of former Democratic President Barack Obama, as acting U.S. attorney general.

Yates on Monday told Justice Department lawyers in a letter that they would not defend in court Trump’s directive that put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran; Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and also Yemen.

Yates said she did not believe defending the order would be; “consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right.”

Trump has argued tougher vetting of immigrants is needed to protect America from terror attacks but critics complain that his order unfairly singles out Muslims and defiles America’s historic reputation as a welcoming place for immigrants.

Yates was days away from being replaced by Trump’s pick for the top spot at the Justice Department; Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, who is awaiting Senate confirmation.

The White House dismissed her comments as rhetoric and said Trump acted within his presidential powers.

“I think that’s a further demonstration of how politicized our legal system has become;” said Stephen Miller, a policy adviser to Trump, in an interview on MSNBC.

There have been only a handful of instances in U.S. history of top Justice Department officials publicly breaking with the White House. The most famous example was in 1973; then-Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned rather than obey President Richard Nixon’s order to fire a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal.

(Additional reporting by Dan Levine in San Francisco; Doina Chiacu, Arshad Mohammed, Susan Heavey, Mark Hosenball and also Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Jonathan Allen in New York, Brian Snyder in Boston; and also Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Writing by Roberta Rampton and also Alistair Bell; Editing by Bernadette Baum and also Bill Rigby)

New Attorney General said KKK was “Ok” Until He Learned they Smoked Cannabis

sessyboyPresident-elect Donald Trump has selected Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as the next attorney general of the United States. Sessions was the first sitting U.S. Senator to endorse Trump for president.

“Jeff Sessions is a drug war dinosaur, which is the last thing the nation needs now,” says Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Those who counted on Donald Trump’s reassurance that marijuana reforms ‘should be a state issue’ will be sorely disappointed. And not just Democrats but the many Republicans as well who favor rolling back the war on drugs had better resist this nomination.”

Sessions, who once said that the Ku Klux Klan was, “OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana,” has a track record of opposing cannabis law reform. Earlier this year, Sessions spoke out against legalization in a Senate hearing and urged the government to send the message to the public that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

Read moreNew Attorney General said KKK was “Ok” Until He Learned they Smoked Cannabis

U.S. Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

By Reuters

Loretta Lynch.
Loretta Lynch.

(Reuters) – Loretta Lynch won Senate approval as U.S. attorney general on Thursday, becoming the first black woman to occupy the post at a time when deadly altercations between white police and unarmed black men are making headlines.

The Senate confirmed Lynch by a vote of 56-43 to end a five-month partisan deadlock over her nomination by President Barack Obama. She had waited for a vote longer than the last seven attorneys general combined.

Read moreU.S. Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Open to Rescheduling Cannabis, But Will Soon Resign

Attorney General Eric Holder is open to rescheduling cannabis, removing it as a Schedule 1 controlled substance which finds it alongside dangerous drugs such as heroin.eh

“I think it’s certainly a question that we need to ask ourselves — whether or not marijuana is as serious a drug as is heroin,” Holder said in a Yahoo interview with Katie Kouric. “The question of whether or not they should be in the same category is something that I think we need to ask ourselves, and use science as the basis for making that determination.”

Holder’s announcement that he’s open to rescheduling cannabis comes at the same time as reports that he will resign as soon as a replacement is found; Eric Holder is one of the original members of President Obama’s Cabinet.

Read moreU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Open to Rescheduling Cannabis, But Will Soon Resign

California Activists Begin Gathering Signatures in October to Put Cannabis Legalization on the 2014 Ballot

California’s Attorney General has recently given approval to the California Cannabis Hemp Act of 2014 (also known as the Jack Herer Initiative), which would end cannabis prohibition in the state, including private cultivation, and industrial hemp.

cchhi-badge-sq1
Advocates in California will begin gathering signatures in October in an attempt to put legalization to a vote in 2014.

Under this initiative, the possession (and transfer) of up to 12 pounds of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to 99 plants, would be legal for any adult 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets would also be authorized, with the state’s legislature being mandated within 6 months to determine specific regulations.

Read moreCalifornia Activists Begin Gathering Signatures in October to Put Cannabis Legalization on the 2014 Ballot

82% of Americans Believe U.S. is Losing the Drug War, Only 4% Believe It’s Being Won

A new Rasmussen poll released yesterday has found that an overwhelming 82% of Americans believe that their country is losing the war on drugs, with only 4% believing it’s being won. nomoredrugwar

“Americans continue to overwhelmingly believe that the so-called War on Drugs is failing”, states Rasmussen in their report.

Read more82% of Americans Believe U.S. is Losing the Drug War, Only 4% Believe It’s Being Won