The U.S. Is Going to Pot
…And there’s nothing Donald Trump or Jeff Sessions can do about it.
A recent national poll funded by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a leading antilegalization group, found that just 16% of the respondents wanted current federal marijuana laws to remain unchanged. On the other hand, 83% of Americans polled agreed that cannabis should be legalized or decriminalized in some fashion (1% undecided).
Someone should point out this startling consensus to the nation’s top law-enforcement official, Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He heads the U.S. Justice Department, which announced it would rescind Obama-era guide lines that had allowed legal marijuana to thrive across the country.
Voters in dozens of states have chosen to legalize medical marijuana, while nine states and the District of Columbia have approved pot for recreational use. Nevertheless our attorney general wants to turn back time and the “states’ rights” that Republicans like him pretend to champion—at least when those rights pertain to something they pretend to give a damn about.
In a January 2018 memorandum on marijuana enforcement, Sessions declared, “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.” He then directed “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.”