Sessions to Congress: prosecute medical marijuana providers

Posted on June 13th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchAttorney General Jeff Sessions has called on congressional leaders to overturn federal protections on medical marijuana that have been in place since 2014, according to a May letter that the Washington Post published June 13. The letter, addressed to the Senate majority and minority leaders as well as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, called for repeal of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which bars the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent named states "from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana."

The letter was first reported by Tom Angell on the cannabis industry website, and later "verified independently" by the Washington Post. In the missive, Sessions griped that the amendment would "inhibit [Justice Department] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act."

He continued: "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. 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."

WaPo couldn't resist pointing out an obvious irony to Sessions' citing of the "historic drug epidemic" to justify a crackdown on medical marijuana. The epidemic Sessions refers to involves potently addictive and potentially deadly opiates and opioids—not cannabis. And a cannabis crackdown could actually be counter-productive to fighting opioid abuse.

As the Washington Post wrote on Feb. 28:  "According to a 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine, states with medical marijuana laws between 1999 and 2010 saw, on average, about 25 percent fewer opiate overdose deaths than states without such laws. What’s more, the effect of a medical marijuana law appeared to grow over time—more lives were saved each additional year after the laws’ implementation, suggesting an effect from more people taking advantage of the programs."

Sessions was essentially riffing on the discredited notion that cannabis is a "gateway drug" that leads to hard stuff. Too bad he doesn't seem to have kept up with the actual research.

Sessions hardly makes a secret of his enthusiasm for police state measures where drugs, crime and immigration are concerned. But it is good that the media are not letting him get away with simple distortions of reality.

Photo by Hammer51012  


Sessions rescinds Obama-era marijuana enforcement policies

Global Ganja Report's picture US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Jan. 4 that previous policies of non-interference with states that have legalized cannabis (whether for medicinal or general use) are "unnecessary" and called on US attorneys to enforce the Controlled Substances Act. Specifically, Sessions has invalidated the 2009 Ogden Memo and 2011 Cole Memo. Sessions' memo might contradict the 2016 decision in United States v. McIntosh, in which the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the enforcement of the Controlled Substance Act for medical marijuana. (Jurist)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Jan 4th, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Any method to Trump admin (reefer) madness?

Bill Weinberg's picture President Donald Trump told reporters this morning that he is likely to support a bipartisan plan to legalize marijuana.

In his comments, Trump referenced the bill put forth yesterday in the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act (STATES Act), which would guarantee states the right to determine for the best approach to marijuana within their borders. The bill also extends these protections to Washington, D.C, which had notoriously had trouble with Congress regarding marijuana, as well as U.S. territories.

“I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” Trump told reporters, before boarding Marine One on his way to the G-7 summit in Canada. (Cannabis Now)

Note that just a month earlier, the acting head of the DEA Robert Patterson, testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the topic of "Challenges and Solutions in the Opioid Abuse Crisis," said he was "aware of a few deaths from marijuana."  Pressed by Rep. Steve Cohen, Patterson said that he didn't have materials in front of him to reference, but that he believed these deaths were caused by "adulterated" cannabis. Back-pedalling somewhat, he added that in terms of risk of overdose, marijuana and opioids are "not comparable." (Marijuana Moment)

Comment by Bill Weinberg on Jun 15th, 2018 at 1:31 am

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