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Stop Blaming Jeff Sessions for America’s Anti-Pot Drug Policy

Anti-pot policy congress Cannabis Now
Photo Allie Caulfield

Joint Opinions

Stop Blaming Jeff Sessions for America’s Anti-Pot Drug Policy

The U.S. Congress is the real powerhouse refusing to stop federal prohibition. The Attorney General is just enforcing the outdated laws placed before him.

Ever since Jeff Sessions was rumored to become President Trump’s pick to serve as Attorney General of the United States back in November 2016, the cannabis advocacy community has been fixated on how the former Alabama Senator is public enemy number one in the realm of cannabis reform. But while it is true that Sessions is no friend to marijuana, legal or otherwise, he is not the true nemesis to reasonable cannabis policy — Congress is.

The cannabis industry seems to have forgotten that Congress is king, and it is has allowed Attorney General Sessions to wage his psychological war on legal marijuana. The federal lawmakers, who are supposed to be looking after the interests of the people, have had every opportunity to approve legislation that would bring marijuana prohibition to a screeching halt. But the issue continues to be ignored by most who sit on Capitol Hill. With the exception of Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Earl Blumenauer and a handful of others, most lawmakers are still not ready to get onboard with legalization.

It was once believed that Republican domination stood in the way of progress. But we now know that Democratic forces are sandbagging it, as well. Even representatives from legal states are refusing to stand up for the concept of nationwide legalization. Earlier this year, Roll Call reported that a number of Democratic senators often dodge questions about cannabis and frequently say that it should be “up to the voter” or “state should be allowed to do what they want.” Nationwide reform doesn’t appear to be on many representatives’ priority list.

Because of this attitude in Congress, there exists a gaping black hole with respect to state and federal pot policy. It is the one snag that gives federal officials like Attorney General Sessions the authority to even utter the words, “Marijuana is illegal in the United States—even in Colorado, California, and everywhere else in America.”

Last year, during his confirmation hearing, Sessions fired back at federal lawmakers who questioned his anti-marijuana stance. Many of these folks expressed concern that Sessions would not play nice with the states that have legalized the leaf for recreational purposes. But Sessions gave it to them straight. “If that’s something [that] is not desired any longer, Congress should pass a law to change the rule,” he said.

“It is not so much the Attorney General’s job to decide what laws to enforce,” he added. “We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able.”

But Congress has made no real attempt to change the laws surrounding marijuana. Not even as more than 60 percent of the population now believes that weed should be taxed and regulated the same as alcohol and tobacco. Medical marijuana is even more popular with the public. Around 90 percent of voters think it is ridiculous that patients cannot relish in the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the risk of jail. Despite the fact that there are now 30 states with medical marijuana programs on the books, Congress still has not taken decisive action to declare a new national standard.

Yet the cannabis industry continues to drone on about Sessions and his recent decision to reverse the Obama-era memo designed to allow states to experiment with legal weed without federal interference. But the piece of paper known as the Cole Memo was never a binding contract.

Some say Sessions’ attitude so far in 2018 could help drag marijuana out of the trenches of prohibition a little faster. But that seems unlikely. The Marijuana Justice Act, which was introduced last year by Senator Cory Booker and aims to legalize marijuana nationwide, still only has two co-sponsors. A companion measure filed earlier this year in the U.S. House of Representatives has twenty-four. Even combined, there simply isn’t enough traction in the federal government to get so much as a hearing.

Despite what the pundits of the cannabis scene would have you believe, Congress is only barely progressing on the issue. Marijuana still has a long way to go.

Perhaps it is time to forget about Jeff Sessions and the crackdown that will never come and start applying pressure to our elected officials. It is imperative that we change the country’s pot law at the federal level because as long as marijuana remains a Schedule I banned substance, the buzzards of uncertainly will continue to circle an industry predicted to employ several hundred thousand workers and generate billions of dollars in tax revenue.

TELL US, who do you blame for federal prohibition?

 

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. bongstar420

    April 7, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Good points. We voted prohibition in by popular notion. Science was never at the forefront and it has always about the rule of subjectivity. This applies to all laws and any privately enforced rule. People are hardly capable of being objective.

  2. Derrick

    March 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Please fire whoever wrote this! I can’t believe a procannabis news source would ever let such ignorance be shared on there media service site! Just disgraceful the author of this!

    It’s not about Sessions just enforcing out dated laws. It’s the fact this man will lie, make up facts, cover up the truth, etc all to see legal cannabis fail. There are people who can’t think for themselves and when a man of his position says things like I quote “cannabis is the cause of the opiate epidemic or that heroin is only slightly less worse than cannabis” those people who don’t think for themselves believe this shit and it hurts the legalization cause vs him enforcing outdated laws but being truthful about the facts as the AG before him was. So no there should be no sympathy for this man and anyone who would say otherwise is just as big as dimbsss as Sessions and deserves a foot up their ass! Now do the right thing and terminate this author for disgracing our good cause and trying to give any sympathy to Sessions!

  3. Paul Pot

    March 9, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Everyone has a personal responsibility not to violate human rights.
    No law can protect anyone from having violated the rights of others.
    “I was only following orders” is no defense and will not be accepted in court.
    This is called the Nuremberg Principle for the Nazi’s who tried to use it at their trial after WW2.

  4. Dave

    March 9, 2018 at 4:46 am

    Right. There is another Sessions in the wood pile who is doing everything possible to hold things back. Pete Sessions of the house rules committee.
    One of several big industry protection puppets working in the halls of the oligarchy.

  5. Jason Lee Straw

    March 8, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Yet, US AG Sessions doesn’t need to push Congress to keep Cannabis Illegal as much as he is doing? If Mr. Sessions was not so vocal about his anti-cannabis stance then I doubt people would be against Mr. Sessions but he has testified in Congress the same “Refer Madness” that has kept Cannabis illegal for 80 some years except for during WWII when Industrial Hemp was deemed so invaluable by the Federal Government that they had a campaign to bring it back because there was no other choice on the matter.

    Captain Jason Lee Straw, USAF, Nurse Corp (Retired)
    Indiana NORML Board Member

    Disability Party Medical Adviser

    Hoosier Veterans For Medical Cannabis (HVMC) District 5 Commander & State Research Officer

    The National Chronic Pancreatitis Support Network (NCPSN) Medical Adviser

    Life Time Member of the DAV

    Life Time Member of the VFW

    Life Time Member of AMVETS

    Life Time Member of the Air Force Association

    Life Time Member of the Non-Commissioned Officer Association

    Life Time Member of the 82nd Airborne Association

    Annual member of the American Legion

    Member of North View Church

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