Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken another step towards attempting to fully enforce federal marijuana policy. Earlier this week, Tom Angell of MassRoots found and published an article regarding a letter that Sessions personally wrote to congress asking them to more or less abolish the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. That amendment is currently one of the only things that is protecting medical marijuana businesses and patients from federal involvement by banning the use of funds to prosecute such crimes as long as the individuals are fully complying with state law.
In the letter Sessions cites the “historic drug epidemic” and a “potentially long-term uptick in violent crime” as reasons that these sort of cases should be pursued regardless of state laws and voters’ decisions. The fact that the historic drug epidemic is caused mostly by addiction and overdose of opioid substances – many of which start off using prescribed medications – is never mentioned. Attempting to link marijuana to violent crime is also just a scare tactic, one of the ones that helped make cannabis illegal in the first place.
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”
The thing is, this letter to congress will hopefully be pointless. There is a great deal of support for this amendment in congress and many bills attempting to end prohibition or at least protect states’ rights have been filed in this most recent session. Congress is finally starting to be on the same page as voters – or at least their right to make the decision for themselves – and we can hope that there will be enough of them with sense to turn this request down.
Through a spokesman, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said that “Mr. Sessions stands athwart an overwhelming majority of Americans and even, sadly, against veterans and other suffering Americans who we now know conclusively are helped dramatically by medical marijuana.”
Sessions also claimed that, according to the DEA, marijuana still has no medicinal value, but all you have to do is a bit of research on medical marijuana to see this is not true. Otherwise, 29 states would not have legalized medical marijuana; that is over half the country, and even more states than that legally allow CBD oil from medical cannabis plants.
Hopefully congress will support the will of 94% of voters who believe that people should have the option to use medical cannabis if they want to. Otherwise, we could see issues in the future of the medical and recreational cannabis industries.