Published 2 days ago on January 8, 2018 | By Chloé Harper Gold
The fight for cannabis legalization isn’t over just yet.
Right on the heels of the news about the potential rescission of the Cole Memo, lawmakers are going head-to-head with Jeff Sessions.
Just last week, we received the news that the legal cannabis industry is at serious risk of disruption. Attorney General Sessions plans to revoke a policy that protects state rights.Rights pertaining to the legalization and regulation of cannabis. The policy in question is commonly referred to as “The Cole Memo”. It was implemented back in 2013 when Barack Obama was still in office. Issued by former Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the policy explicitly prevents federal prosecutors and other law enforcement entities from interfering with states with legal marijuana.
The Attorney General has a pathological obsession with cracking down on cannabis and ushering in a new age of prohibition that would appeal to the sensibilities of the late Harry Anslinger. Given this, it should come as no surprise that he’s willing to betray the most basic tenets of his Republican roots. That is, the priority of states’ rights over federal policy.
But, fear not. His move is not met without resistance. These lawmakers are going head-to-head with Jeff Sessions over weed, states’ rights, and justice for all.
1. U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
While the Trump administraton pays lip service to a national opioid crisis…instead it has announced its intention to waste taxpayer dollars to pursue legal, non-lethal drug use and legally operating small businesses. Attorney General Sessions’ announcement is a slap in the face of families that have been devastated by the opioid crisis. As the leading Democrat on the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Justice Department, I will work to ensure that resources are devoted to opioid response efforts, rather than this foolish policy.
Senator Shaheen’s constituents took to Twitter to express their gratitude for her stance. Among the supporters was a co-founder of EstroHaze, Sirita Wright, who commented with a succinct “Alright Jeanne!”
2. California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer
Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles, California is bringing Assembly Bill 1578back to the floor. If passed in the state Senate, AB-1578 will prevent both local and state law enforcement from helping federal forces go after state-legal cannabis activities and businesses.
“The intent of Assembly Bill 1578 is to provide state agencies with the protection they need to uphold state laws without federal interference,” Jones-Sawyer said.
He continued with a direct statement about Jeff Sessions: “What [he] is proposing is not a return to “Rule of Law” as he claims; instead he is taking away access to cannabis for children with chronic diseases, cancer patients, seniors and veterans.