Jeff Sessions needs to get with the freaking times. Apparently, Congress feels the same way, as they’ve squashed the Attorney General’s efforts to enforce a weed crackdown in states where it is currently legal for medicinal purposes.
A Brief History
Sessions has been one of the most outspoken members of the Trump administration when it comes to state policy on medical weed. It’s almost as if he’s in denial about its legality. He has basically threatened to punish those using and distributing medicinal cannabis in states where it’s 100% LEGAL.
“I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” Sessions said during a February press briefing.
It is almost fair to question if the 70-year-old politician even understands what federal law is.
Jeff is also on the record of saying that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and even compared the plant to heroin. In case you were wondering, Marijuana has NEVER killed anybody. The same can not be said for opioids.
Congress Fights Back
Despite Sessions’ best efforts, Congress seems determined to nix any of the Justice Department’s controversial restrictions on medical weed. It’s safe to say Sessions’ weed crackdown won’t be getting underway anytime soon. Congress has given the Justice Department ZERO dollars.
And apparently, they don’t plan on it judging by their brand new budget bill. The bill includes a provision called the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. It gives states the green light to continue making their policies regarding the legalization of medicinal cannabis.
This isn’t all-too-uncommon for a typical budget bill. It’s quite common. Lawmakers have been maintaining medicinal marijuana provisions in their budget allocations since 2014, but that was under President Obama. The Trump administration has been eyeing a weed crackdown since day-one.
Despite Congress’ efforts, Sessions still could have his way when it comes to recreational bud. There are only eight states (and the District of Colombia) that have legalized weed for recreation, so it could prove easier to topple. Conversely, there are 29 states in addition to D.C. that have legalized it for medicinal use.
Oddly enough, North Dakota and Indiana were not included in the provision. This, however, could be attributed to the fact that the two states just recently passed laws legalizing the herb. While this remains a work in progress, there is no doubt people are thrilled about Congress’ willingness to step in.
Particularly, those directly involved in the cannabis industry. Green Lion Partners, a cannabis business firm, was quite happy with Congress’ decision. Their president, Jeffrey Zucker, praised lawmakers for their swift decision.
He pointed to the fact that people will refrain from using black market sources to acquire their medicinal cannabis. According to Zucker, “Medical cannabis patients in the U.S. can rest easy knowing they won’t have to return to the black market to acquire their medicine,”.
Although this continues to be an ongoing battle, it is a step in the right direction. However, it appears states have the high ground when it comes to making the call on medical weed. As more states legalize cannabis, Sessions and the Trump administration will face even more of an uphill battle. Congress: 1, Sessions: 0.