United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions – after decades of anti-marijuana rhetoric – admitted today that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana”, and says it’s “perfectly appropriate to study” it.
Sessions made the comments while speaking to the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee. Sessions noted that the government plans to soon increase the number of licenses issued for those wanting to research marijuana.
“We are moving forward and we will add fairly soon, I believe, the paperwork and reviews will be completed and we will add additional suppliers of marijuana under the controlled circumstances,” said Sessions.
As first reported by Tom Angell of MassRoots.com, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson responded to a July 24 letter from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in which Sessions’ made multiple allegations all based on a single misleading 2016 report.
One would say, they didn’t pull any punches:
“Your letter, citing the March 2016 Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA) report on marijuana in Washington, makes a number of allegations that are outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information.”
Cutting right to the heart of the matter, i.e. facts, the Washington state leaders again articulated their desire to educate the (seemingly willing) ignorant Sessions.
“We have twice requested an in-person meeting with you because we believe it will lead to better understanding than exchanging letters. If we can engage in a more direct dialogue, we might avoid this sort of miscommunication and make progress on the issues that are important to both of us. We therefore reiterate our request to meet with you, followed by further appropriate meetings between state and DOJ officials.”
One of the most basic functions of government is to simply provide consistency and certainty in law enforcement. So after repeated efforts by the state’s leadership to receive clarification, basic facets of the Department of Justice’s approach are still unknown. In yet another attempt for guidance, the Governor and state Attorney General requested information on:
Whether DOJ intends to follow recommendations from its Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety—in particular, its reported recommendation to continue previous federal policy on state legalization of marijuana.
Whether President Trump’s previous statements of support for medical marijuana, and leaving recreational marijuana legalization to the states, represent the policy of the federal government.
Whether DOJ will support reasonable federal policies allowing financial institutions to provide service to licensed marijuana businesses, in order to avoid the public safety risks and transparency problems associated with all-cash businesses.
How state-regulated marijuana should be treated by the federal government following the President’s declaration that the opioid crisis constitutes a national emergency, and whether the federal government will support objective, independent research into the effects of marijuana law reform on opioid use and abuse.
Whether the federal government will help protect public health by supporting agricultural research on the safety of pesticides used in marijuana cultivation.
Whether the federal government will support research into expedited roadside DUI testing methods for law enforcement, as alternatives to blood draws.
How Attorney General Sessions will respond, only time will tell.
You can click HERE to send a message to your Representative to urge their support for The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, bipartisan legislation to prevent the Department of Justice from enforcing federal prohibition in states that have chosen to legalize medical or adult-use marijuana.
You can view the full letter from Governor Inslee and AG Ferguson by clicking here.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Justice Department has effectively shutdown a potential increase in the research of marijuana by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Sessions has effective stopped the DEA from taking action on more than two dozen requests to grow marijuana to use in research, according to a report by The Washington Post.
As noted by the Post, a year ago the DEA began accepting applications to grow more marijuana for research, and as of this month, had received 25 proposals to consider. However, the DEA says they need the Justice Department to sign-off on more research in order to move forward, and so far, the department hasn’t been willing to provide it.
“They’re sitting on it,” said one law enforcement official familiar with the matter. “They just will not act on these things.” As a result, “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program to increase research registrations”, says a senior DEA official.
It’s been almost 6 months since President Donald Trump took office, but despite a lot of fear, it’s had little to no impact on marijuana laws throughout the country.
When Donald Trump won the election for president of the United States, many in the marijuana community were worried what it might mean for state-level marijuana laws. But for many others, there was a sense of quiet optimism. After all, Trump has said before that he’s “100%” in favor of medical marijuana, and that he supports state rights. Although it was many years ago, he’s previously stated his support for legalizing all drugs.
However, it wasn’t long before fear, rightfully so, began to increase. Trump began making subtle, but certainly worrisome comments, and he hired longtime prohibitionist Jeff Sessions to be the nation’s attorney general. Despite this, nothing much has came of this fear, and there’s reason to believe it will stay this way.
According to a report by MassRoots’ Tom Angell, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent a letter asking members of Congress to undo protections that prevent the Department of Justice from enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical use.
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote in the letter sent to Congressional leadership from both parties. “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”
Sessions was referring to the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, a provision initially passed during the Obama Administration that protects state-level medical cannabis programs from federal intrusion. The letter from Sessions was sent last month, and was obtained by MassRoots from a Congressional staffer.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today that a task force subcommittee will evaluate marijuana enforcement policies.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today issued a memo to 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice component heads providing an update on the Department’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.
As part of that update, the Attorney General announced the creation of Task Force subcommittees that will focus on a variety of issues including “evaluating marijuana enforcement policy”. These subcommittees will also focus on; “developing violent crime reduction strategies, supporting prevention and re-entry efforts, updating charging and sentencing policies, reviewing asset forfeiture guidance; reducing illegal immigration and human trafficking” and “combating hate crimes”.
At a speech today in Virginia Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he believes medical marijuana has been “hyped”, and that marijuana is only “slightly less awful” than heroin.
During a speech to law enforcement – the full text of which can be found on the Department of Justice website – Sessions stated; “I think medical marijuana has been hyped, maybe too much.”
Sessions also remarked that he rejects “the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store”, and said he’s “astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
Politico has reported that Jeff Sessions has privately reassured several Senators that “he won’t deviate from an Obama-era policy of allowing states to implement their own marijuana laws.”
According to the report, “Sessions provided some private assurances to senators before he was confirmed that he was not considering a major shift in enforcement, despite his opposition to the use of marijuana.”
According to Senator Rand Paul (R); “He told me he would have some respect for states’ right on these things. And so I’ll be very unhappy if the federal government decides to go into Colorado and Washington and all of these places. And that’s not the [what] my interpretation of my conversation with him was. That this wasn’t his intention”.
At a press conference today Attorney General Jeff Sessions made new, and disparaging, comments on marijuana.
“Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” Sessions told reporters today. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago.”
Sessions continued; “We’re seeing real violence around that,.. Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t see the federal government getting involved in marijuana.
According to Capital Public Radio, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Attorney General Sessions met last week to discuss several issues; one of them just happened to be marijuana.
“Regarding the prioritization of federal resources to combat marijuana; he didn’t see the federal government getting involved in marijuana use or low-level state, what are traditionally state and local crimes”, said Sheriff Jones following the meeting. “[B]ut, I don’t think he ruled out the possibility of the federal government getting involved in larger-scale operations”; Jones says these operations would include trafficking by drug cartels, not necessarily cannabis businesses that are legal under state law.