Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states plus the District of Columbia, but if it’s up to Jeff Sessions, that will change soon. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that he would like to end medical marijuana and especially recreational marijuana before the end of the year and start prosecuting those in possession of medical marijuana. It is the goal of Jeff Sessions to overturn a bill passed in 2014 that provided protection from prosecution for medical marijuana users. Jeff Sessions has made it clear that he believes that marijuana is as big of a problem in the United States as heroin and other opioids.
But Jeff Sessions’ views on medical marijuana as a problem are opposed to those who see medical marijuana as a solution. Many associated with the NFL are thinking that marijuana might help treat CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain injury that is often found in those with repeated head injuries. It is thought that marijuana can help treat some symptoms of CTE, which 96 percent of the brains of former NFL players contain.
Dale Gieringer, the director of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, believes that the NFL’s policy against any marijuana use is counterproductive, as is the policy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The NFL’s policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive. There’s no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana.”
“It’s my view that the use of marijuana is detrimental and we should not give encouragement in any way to it,” Mr. Sessions said Wednesday. “And it represents a federal violation which is in the law and is subject to being enforced." https://t.co/3L3jaKkfIN— Andrew Blake (@apblake) November 29, 2017
Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to Congress opposing the bill that protected users of medical marijuana says Newsweek.
“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.”
Even before he was made Donald Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions was a vocal opponent of marijuana, legal and illegal. Sessions once said that he thought that the KKK was “okay until I found out they smoked pot.”
Jeff Sessions was angered that some in Congress suggested that use of medical marijuana could help people addicted to heroin treat their addiction. Sessions said that it would be trading one life-wrecking addiction for another. When Steve Cohen, the Representative of Tennessee, said that marijuana did not pose the same health risk to people as heroin, Sessions said he would take that into consideration.
Philip Heymann, a Harvard Law School professor and former Justice Department official for the Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton administrations says that Jeff Sessions is way behind the times as are his policies on marijuana.
“He’s [Sessions is] old-fashioned and very conservative. Literally seven years ago, maybe eight years ago, marijuana was thought to be a very dangerous drug. Why would he focus on this issue? Because he’s seven years out of date.”
But now Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to overturn the Cole Memo, written by President Barack Obama’s Attorney General James Cole, which told law enforcement where their attention and funds should be focused in the war on drugs says The Cannabist.
According to Cole, in terms of marijuana, these are the priorities.
- Prevent distribution of marijuana to minors
- Prevent marijuana revenue from funding criminal enterprises, gangs or cartels
- Prevent marijuana from moving out of states where it is legal
- Prevent use of state-legal marijuana sales as a cover for illegal activity
- Prevent violence and use of firearms in growing or distributing marijuana
- Prevent drugged driving or exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use
- Prevent growing marijuana on public lands
- Prevent marijuana possession or use on federal property
But Attorney General Jeff Sessions doesn’t agree.
Cole believed that going after adults who possessed small amounts of marijuana and those who were using marijuana for medical reasons was a waste of time and resources, and the majority of Congress agreed. But Jeff Sessions never has, and now he wants to tear up the Cole Memo and prosecute those using and possessing medical marijuana.
This brings us to the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment which was attached to every spending bill since 2014 and prevented the justice department from spending even one cent to prosecute medical marijuana patients, according to Merry Jane.
Jeff Sessions Sued By 12 Years Old Girl To Legalize Medical Marijuana https://t.co/hUm4N6JrFR— Coffee Time ☕ (@TheCoffeeBibles) November 21, 2017
But the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment is now at risk because back in September, a House committee blocked a vote to include the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment in the 2018 spending bill possibly ending years of protection for medical marijuana patients. Jeff Sessions is spearheading the efforts to kill the amendment.
But the Senate then voted to continue the protections, renaming it the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment (Representative Farr has retired) and added it to their spending bill despite Sessions’ protestations. On December 8, the House and the Senate will have to reconcile the two versions, one with and one without protections for patients who use medical marijuana, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in pushing for the spending bill without the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment.
Mitchell Kulick and Bryan Meltzer are attorneys at the New York-based law firm Feuerstein Kulick which specialize in cannabis law, and Meltzer said that the removal of the amendment could be an issue. They know that Sessions has made this a priority.
“If [the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment] doesn’t make it into the budget, that’s going to be a problem. But I don’t think we’re ready to say the House leadership purposely ignored it because they’re hostile to cannabis. They knew it would be extended because the Senate already put it forward.”
The Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment is the only thing that is stopping Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department from going on a mad tear across the country prosecuting medical marijuana patients even in states where medical marijuana is legal, citing the federal supremacy clause which says that federal law always trumps state law.
Jeff Sessions is allegedly spending a great deal of time getting people on his side of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment debate while many citizens don’t realize that this matter might be resolved on December 8th.