It turns out nothing is sacred: it looks like the Trump administration is going after marijuana users.
A new report from the Department of Justice linking cannabis use and crime is purported to serve as a gateway for a crackdown on cannabis legislation, as well as those who use it, as reported by Newsweek.
The Crackdown on Cannabis
Many predict that the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, will use the report to implement anti-cannabis policies.
Democrat Senator Brian Schatz called the proposal “backward and inhumane” in a tweet he sent out on Sunday.
“I hope every third-party voting progressive remembers this,” he stated. “There’s a real difference between R’s and D’s.”
He further added that Sessions’ clampdown would unravel years’ worth of work towards a “more humane, less expensive, more just system.”
Schatz’s tweets referred to the decriminalization of cannabis in roughly 21 states during the eight years of the Obama administration. As Newsweek reported, the former POTUS’ stance was that “the drug ought to be treated as a public health issue like alcohol or tobacco.” This, in turn, was evident in the move to decriminalize weed on a state-by-state basis, which has lead to full legalization in eight states.
Sessions, however, disagrees. When it comes to weed, his tenure in the Trump administration has been typified by calling for harsher criminal sentences for those found in possession of the drug—especially dealers.
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund prosecutions, particularly in the midst of a historic drug epidemic and a potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote in the memo to the DOJ this past May.
This isn’t the first time Sessions has spoken out against weed usage. Back in March of this year, the Attorney General said he rejected “the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.
“I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another,” he added at the time. (Seems like he’s ignoring studies that show cannabis can rehabilitate opioid users, but whatever.)
Final Hit: The Trump Administration Is Going After Marijuana Users
Despite Sessions’ efforts, the crackdown on cannabis has unified both parties on a common front. Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democrat Senator Al Franken have even gone as far as to both sponsor a bill with the hopes of protecting medicinal weed from Session’s reach. But despite this promising development, worries are far from assuaged, as director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program Inimai Chettiar noted.
“We’re worried there’s going to be something in the recommendations that is either saying that that’s true or recommending action be taken based on that being true.”