Before you hit that panic button, read this.
Some potheads woke up to some bad news last Thursday Afternoon.
Sessions had written a memo.
And if you’ve seen the social media feeds of any 420 advocates, they got pretty whipped up about it. They were talking as though Sessions would personally rifle through their pockets and take their stash away.
It was kind of entertaining, really. And completely ridiculous.
Even Republican Senator Cory Gardner (Colorado) pitched a public fit over it.
The memo itself was pretty short. We’ll include it here.
And then we’ll get into why they shouldn’t get so bent out of shape.
Justice Department Issues Memo on Marijuana Enforcement
The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
In the memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress and to follow well-established principles when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana activities. This return to the rule of law is also a return of trust and local control to federal prosecutors who know where and how to deploy Justice Department resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”
Here’s what the Senator and the potheads might want to keep in mind.
1) Obama had every opportunity to Legalize or at least Decriminalize Pot in response to the States that had legalized it, but he refused to address the issue, using his ‘pen and his phone’ to kick that can down the road. The conflicting laws are in place because of a failure in leadership on Obama’s watch. He took the coward’s way out and needs to be called out on it.
2) Trump was elected as a law-and-order President, and while Pot is legal in some states, it is illegal in others. Beyond that, it is (still) currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Schedule one drugs are illegal. Period.
3) Trump — unlike his predecessor — respects the boundaries of Constitutional powers. The Executive branch ENFORCES the law… they don’t make them with, say, a pen and a phone. We saw this same thing play out with DACA — if the law is to be changed, it will have to happen in the branch of government authorized to MAKE that change. The DOJ, on the other hand, is sworn to uphold the law.
4) Prioritizing. Notice it specifically mentions the discretion of the agency to pursue who they see as cost-benefit risk/reward priority. Not every small-time crook is worth deploying resources on. That said if they find someone with 5 kilos of marijuana, and they happen to be a known gang member — the agency would be happy to pursue charges in that instance.
5) Don’t forget who picked this turf fight — Militantly Progressive cities and states.
This is an example of the Federal Government defending its rightful authority in a particular area. Why would they be inclined to make a big deal of that? Maybe you could ask the Cities and States that are openly defying Federal Authority with their ‘Sanctuary’ Stance. They did the same with Opposing his Executive Orders — which are explicitly an Executive Branch responsibility.
After all — we’ve learned a lot about what percentage of inmates that are here illegally are overcrowding our prisons since we started taking stats. (Spoiler: It’s a lot.)
Right now, there is a conflict, and inconsistency between federal and State law. If it was over anything other than pot, nobody would care, it would just eventually sort itself, maybe needing a court challenge to resolve it.
But let POT be the issue on the table, be ready for a serious backlash. You’re harshing their mellow, man.
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