Sessions To Increase Federal Government’s Power Regarding Marijuana


Jeff Sessions

Since 2008, individual states have gradually been moving towards decriminalizing the distribution and possession of marijuana, either for its proven medical benefits or merely for the enjoyment (and natural rights of private property appropriation) of its users. Marijuana suppliers entered the business knowing that their future was uncertain and subject to the tides of the still-ongoing nationwide debate.

Though the government has never legalized it on a federal level, the Obama Administration had at least given pot-growers written reassurance that their businesses will not be interfered with in the form of Justice Department memos. These memos, which provided guidelines for federal law enforcement to not interfere with growers who are within state marijuana laws, have officially been rescinded by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

According to Sessions’ letter titled “Marijuana Enforcement,” the federal government is now at liberty to prosecute marijuana-related crimes as it sees fit, the same way it prosecutes other federal crimes. Therefore, “previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately.”

Given how Sessions cited “Congress’s determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana activity is a serious crime,” coupled with the fact that he has given the justice department lesser restrictions on how it can prosecute in defiance of state marijuana laws, it is definitely possible the federal government is preparing to adopt a hardline, anti-pot stance.

Fears of federal action against growers are spreading in states with budding weed industries, which were showing promise as an example of weed taxation and regulation. It is possible that now legitimate business owners who invested their time and money into compliance with state marijuana laws could be faced with shutting down.

The so-called “War on Drugs” has caused a spike in gang violence and saw the incarceration rate increase 500% (per Politifact). It would be regrettable and disastrously unpopular for the incumbent administration if this trend were to continue. It would be more consistent and in-line with a small government ideology, to end the federal prohibition of said drugs.

Sessions’ letter can be read here:

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