Treasury agency blindsided by Sessions marijuana crackdown

13 January, 2018, 03:59 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • POLITICS     Gardner Sessions hasn’t budged on pot     
       Cory Gardner says his meeting with Jeff Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week revoked an Obama era policy of looking the other way in states that had legalized uses of marijuana, and gave Lelling discretion over enforcing federal marijuana laws in the Bay State, where voters in 2016 legalized marijuana for adult recreational use. Supporters of the bill say the hodgepodge of state laws undermines the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense. The matter is further complicated by the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, part of federal spending bills since the end of 2014, constraining funds for use by the Justice Department in preventing states from implementing their own laws authorizing use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Sessions' move allows federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state rules conflict with federal.

He said further, the Cole Memo "was interpreted as a safe harbor for individuals", Sessions said. That could put medical marijuana businesses and patients in CT at risk. "The real ramifications of this will be in states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use". California also this month began allowing the sale of recreational marijuana. Though lawmakers and activists have bristled at the vagueness of Lelling's statements, the prosecutor has made clear that no aspect of the state-sanctioned marijuana industry will be clear of federal scrutiny. For comparison, Massachusetts, one of the other eight states where marijuana is legal for recreational use, has capped the maximum taxation on weed at 20 percent.

The substance, however, remains federally prohibited and is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the same class as heroin and LSD. But that can not keep the federal government from doing so. Washington state supports these priorities, which include keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors and organized crime, and from crossing state lines.

Both used a payment processing company that worked with a MA bank that processed medical marijuana transactions.

Sessions has the power to replace attorneys who don't enforce marijuana laws with those who will. Legalization by a state, in some or all circumstances, just means that it is not a state crime.

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Marijuana legalization is typically most popular with the libertarian-leaning wing of the Republican Party. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, 693,482 individuals in the United States were arrested in 2013 and charged with marijuana violations, and of these, 609,423, or 88 percent, were arrested for simple possession. However, the uncertainty it creates will provide further ammunition to critics of recreational cannabis and make it hard for state-legal marijuana businesses to operate. Even for those arrested and never prosecuted or convicted, arrest records have real harms in terms of the ability to get jobs, loans, housing and benefits.

Sessions didn't invent marijuana prohibition or the War on Drugs.

Yet, there is little benefit of illegality.

But would they still go after illegal pot shops?

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health was unable to respond to a request for comment by publication about the future of West Virginia's medical marijuana program.


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