Attorney General Jeff Sessions waving his right hand to a crowd of people.

Gage Skidmore

Sessions Urges Congress to Restore Funding for Cannabis Enforcement

Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month sent a letter to Senators Mitch McConnell (R), Chuck Schumer (D), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R), and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D), asking them to allow the Justice Department to crackdown on state-legal cannabis programs, according to a letter acquired by Massroots’ Tom Angell. Specifically, Sessions asked the lawmakers to oppose the language of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment which prohibits the Department from interfering in state-approved regimes.

“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,” Sessions writes in the letter. “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.”

Furthermore, Sessions claims that “Cuban, Asian, Caucasian, and Eurasian criminal organizations have established marijuana operations in state-approved marijuana markets.”

The Justice Department under the Obama Administration also attempted to undermine the amendment. According to a Washington Post report, that regime circulated misleading talking points among members of Congress in order to influence the debate. Subsequently, a federal judge ruled that the agency has attempted to enforce the amendment in a way that “defies language and logic,” “tortures the plain meaning of the statute” and is “at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law.”

“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,” said a spokesperson for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to the Washington Post.

In May, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health, updated their website to reflect recent NIDA research on the effects of cannabis legalization on prescription opioid use. Sessions’ trope is out-of-touch with the NIDA research, which concluded that “reduction in [opioid] deaths was present only in states with dispensaries (not just medical marijuana laws) and was greater in states with active dispensaries.”

According to an April 20 Quinnipiac poll, 94 percent of Americans support medical cannabis laws, while another 60 percent support outright legalization.

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