Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday reversed policies adopted by former President Obama regarding interference with marijuana-friendly state laws.
“These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community,” Sessions quoted from an old policy manual. The shift in policy has caused an uproar in states that have already decriminalized marijuana under various conditions. Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, tweeted that the issue “must be left up to the states.” Gardner said Sessions had told him that there would be no interference during the DOJ nominee process.
California’s state Bureau of Cannabis Control, which on Monday began processing hundreds of applications for businesses seeking to legally grow, transport and sell marijuana, showed no sign of slowing after Sessions’ announcement.
The bureau’s chief, Lori Ajax, vowed to continue issuing permits “while defending our state’s laws to the fullest extent,” according to the LA Times.
OUR FREE OPINION
We have little regard for Session’s understanding of drug usage, drug laws, and the separation between state and federal powers. Clearly, the state’s should be permitted to permit the use and sale of marijuana without the threat of federal prosecutions. Blinded by his relentless drive to restore all power to the federal government and his inherent ignorance of the issues, he continues to use his powers to trample on the states. Recently, he called for stiffer penalties for drug users. Yet, most judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers know from years of experience that drug treatment is the correct way to combat these issues.