“Given the Department’s well-established general principles, previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately,” Sessions said in Jeff Sessions Memo sent to federal prosecutors nationwide.
Justice Department leaders said the Obama-era policies, most of them issued by Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole, made marijuana industry players too comfortable in a business that has always been illegal under federal law.
The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people. https://t.co/XRd8OldE2N
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) January 4, 2018
“The Cole memo 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,” the official said.
We must stop Jeff Sessions’ backwards actions. There is now great urgency to pass the Marijuana Justice Act to legalize marijuana on the federal level.
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) January 4, 2018
Sens. Cory Gardner of Colorado, where recreational marijuana was approved by voters in 2012, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, where pot has been decriminalized since 2003 and legalized recreationally since 2014, denounced the reported plan on Thursday after it was first reported by the Associated Press.
This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018
“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states,” Gardner tweeted. “I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.”
The Colorado senator cited comments from Trump during a July 2016 interview that the issue should be “left up to the states” in criticizing the move.
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