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Sessions Opens Door to Prosecute Pot Growers and Sellers in California

Updated: Apr 03, 2020 11:35
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Today Attorney General Jeff Sessions removed Obama era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states California and Colorado.  Sessions withdrew federal guidelines that effectively limited prosecutions of businesses and individuals who sold pot in a legal manner under state law, even though the drug remains illegal under federal law.

Legal Pot States affected by end to policy that protected pot growers and sellers from most federal prosecutions

The announcement appears intended to discourage marijuana-related business by being deliberately vague about future federal enforcement efforts. The effort will most likely confuse the legal status of marijuana for states that have passed legislation allowing people to grow, buy or use pot.  State Attorneys are no longer restricted in prosecuting people involved in pot under Federal Statutes.

Here is Session’s vague and counterproductive one-page memo

“The Cole memo (Obama-era policy) as interpreted created a safe harbor for the marijuana industry to operate in these states. There is a belief that that is inconsistent with what federal law says,” a Justice Department official said.

The decision to remove protections against prosecution for pot businesses in California creates incredible confusion and chaos in both the legal and business communities.  Especially in a state like California, which officially opened its dispensaries to the general public without prescriptions on Jan. 1. Justice Department officials said they were unaware of any link between the timing of Sessions’ announcement and California’s recent shift legalization.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) called the plan “outrageous,” saying it goes against “the majority of Americans—including a majority of Republican voters—who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made.”

In the past Sessions has compared marijuana to heroin and blames it for spikes in violence.  He is, by most sober accounts, a horse’s ass, who does not understand the market he is regulating or the American people’s desire to see the decriminalization of marijuana.  A move that promises to reduce our penitentiary populations, reduce organized crime, and add hundreds of millions of dollars to the tax base.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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