Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Statements on Marijuana
Eight states have voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Twenty-nine states have legalized medical marijuana. Twenty-one states have decriminalized the drug. However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law as a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
In the past, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has publicly stated his belief that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” As a senator, he also said last year that “marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized… that it is, in fact, a very real danger.”
At his recent confirmation hearing for Attorney General, Sessions admitted that disrupting states’ legal marijuana markets by enforcing federal marijuana laws could create an undue strain on federal resources. However, Sessions also said he “won’t commit to never enforcing federal law.” Sessions acknowledged that the Department of Justice issued guidelines in 2013 that effectively left marijuana law enforcement up to individual states, but he expressed concern that the guidelines may not have been followed.
And in a radio interview last week, Sessions said, “Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide.”
This past week, Attorney General Sessions declared that marijuana—a drug on which no person has ever overdosed—was nearly as dangerous as heroin, a drug that killed 12,989 Americans in a single year.
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump voiced his support for legal medical marijuana. However, Trump said in June 2015 that legal recreational use was “bad,” adding he felt “strongly about it.”
Can the Federal Government Interfere with State Marijuana Laws?
In late February, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer stated, “I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it,” regarding federal drug laws. The Trump administration could take the following actions to step up enforcement:
While the Obama administration laid out in an official memo (the Cole memo) that the federal government wouldn’t interfere in states where non-medical use of marijuana is allowed, the Trump administration could rescind that guidance.
The Trump administration could prosecute large-scale recreational marijuana businesses in order to deter expansion of the entire industry.
The Trump administration could rescind the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s guidance for banks and oppose efforts to expand banking services to the marijuana industry. Historically, the marijuana industry has lacked access to banking and the loans it needs to expand.
What do you think? Should the federal government respect states’ marijuana laws, including legalization of recreational marijuana?
I’m all for the federal government trumping state laws. History has shown that as a general rule, the states do not know what’s best for their citizens (civil rights come to mind). So if the law allows for the federal government to step in and override a state’s marijuana law, so be it. I just find it hypocritical that republicans, who are so gung-ho about “state’s rights” are ok with the federal government doing this. And while I’m not against the legalization of marijuana, I think there is a risk of people getting hurt by it, such as operating a vehicle under the influence of THC. And I know that establishing “intoxication” from THC using scientific methods is not easy, given how the THC metabolites will remain in a person’s systems for weeks after the drug no longer has an intoxicating effect. In contrast, operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol has a well-established scientific and legal principles and rules.
Right because the Fed’s always know what’s good for the people…..
There are no methods to detect cannabis intoxication because the Federal Government has barred studies on the issue, as such it would need to be legalized first. Ill take a few car crashes in the short term over the gang violence and imprisonment of millions that we are experiencing now.
Additionally Federal Law does not always trump State’s Law. Thats why the 18th Amendment was necessary. The Feds can regulate interstate commerce but their power to enforce drug laws within the borders of a state is questionable at best.
They should just legalize in America. Most of the country smokes anyway pay a copay like we do now ins. Pays the rest just like now the doctors would write a whole lot less of opioid I would love to c my doctor get me off o these I take. Put me on pot. It will better longer it would save the gov. Billions that again did save billions + big pharm co. Want like it. But we’re not here for them and HELL they don’t make the pills here and gov pays them legal pot
“Most of the country smokes anyway.” Bullshit.
From what Ive seen, Im unclear where the Federal Government gets the power to enforce their drug laws within a state. They have the power to regulate interstate commerce and business that is conducted across state borders (including banking services).
But I don’t know how they are going to enforce drug prohibition within a state.
I’m just trying to see if I can get it of this felony drug charge I have pending, it’s only thc, it’s commercial but illegal, I live in Minnesota but I’m scared they going to take $10k from my and make me serve time and also put a feeling on my record, over something I didn’t even end up smoking because they confiscated it and I was going to put the harmless chemical in my own body, which you should have the right to do as long as you are using it smart, you can’t overdose on it physically, you’ll die from lung cancer or popcorn lungs before you do from overdosing, it’s physically impossible to die from the affects because you can’t smoke enough in a lifetime in one sitting, that’s my problem, I’m a good person using it for my own self, can I do something or is this ever going to be fixed, they should add that to the amendments and rights, the right to consume any natural plant on your own land (shrooms, marijuana) same with alcohol regulations, you can drink it underage even on your property with a parent consent, they need to make it more available if they want people to rest, it’s a lot less stressful for everyone, plus I’d rather use marijuana than a lab made drug that you can overdose on, does anyone get my point of view or an I alone, email me if you can help do something about this, or at least get me out of this trouble