Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Trump Supports Sessions' Marijuana Decision, Breaking His Campaign Promise

2018 could be the worst year yet of the chaotic Trump era 2018 could be the worst year yet of the chaotic Trump era
Johnnie Parks | 08 January, 2018, 02:44

Mr. Sessions' memo already drew the ire of representatives of states where Marijuana is legal. In 2012, Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics showed there were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession and only 256,000 for "cocaine, heroin, and their derivatives".

In what became colloquially known as the "Cole memo", the department recognized that the drug was still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act but gave federal prosecutors permission to focus their resources elsewhere, so long as the states didn't threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and targeting cartels.

However, the 2013 "Cole memo" served as a directive for how US attorneys should handle the legalization of marijuana in order for the federal government to exercise a hands-off approach to states legalization.

Experts say they think the multi-billion dollar business now legal in some form in a majority of states is too large to bust.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

On Jan. 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that enables the federal government to intervene in the legalization of marijuana throughout each state. Voters in California approved the measure in November 2016, but the legal, commercial sale of marijuana under state law just went into effect with the new year.

"Kate Brown is on our side and that's good to know", McKinley said. Pelosi isn't sponsoring a bill to eliminate federal laws against in-state marijuana commerce. In legalization states like Colorado, for example, Sessions essentially decreed that citizens may well need to worry that the massive arm of the federal government could come crashing down on them; their local laws be damned.

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Justice Antonin Scalia, concurring in the decision, started from the premise that the federal government has the power to prohibit commerce in marijuana among the states.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado said on Twitter that the administration's action "directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation".

Several state leaders and supporters of medical marijuana are reacting to the announcement and asking, what's next? "Each US attorney now gets to decide what will and will not be prosecuted".

Former Republican Maryland state delegate Don Murphy, who now works in conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, said the AG's move, presumably sanctioned by Trump, is odd considering the populist wave in favor of decriminalizing marijuana across the country-not only in blue states, but places like Arkansas, the first Bible Belt state to legalize medical marijuana, and with 53 percent of the vote. A federal law blocks the Justice Department from interfering with medical marijuana programs in states where it is allowed. The analysis concluded that supply vastly outstrips demand, and that OR supplies much of the black market marijuana around the U.S.

The governor said he expects to meet with the new top prosecutor in Nevada after she arrives. To say this is an established industry with thousands of people and livelihoods depending on it would be an understatement. "Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states' rights only when they believe the state is right", Wyden said in a statement.

Arcview Group, an Oakland investment and market research firm that studies the cannabis industry, forecast an $11 billion USA market for legal marijuana this year - just over 60 percent for medical use, the rest for recreational use - and said it would continue to expand.

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