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Trump Supports Sessions' Marijuana Decision, Breaking His Campaign Promise

Trump Supports Sessions' Marijuana Decision, Breaking His Campaign Promise

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it. And while Sessions' memo does not instruct federal prosecutors to bring more marijuana cases, he could order stricter enforcement in the future. Federal agencies have "not historically devoted resources to prosecuting individuals whose conduct is limited to possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use on private property". The only time he's ever acknowledged marijuana was in May 2017, when he note (in a statement) that a spending bill he helped pass included a provision that prevented the DOJ from prosecuting medical marijuana cases in places where it's legal.

The justice department describes the move as a "return to the rule of law" to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crimes.

Whether to crack down on marijuana in states where it is legal is a decision that will now rest with those states' top federal prosecutors, many of whom are deeply rooted in their communities and may be reluctant to pursue cannabis businesses or their customers. I stand with the voters of California in defending California's efforts to legalize cannabis.

According to Brown Oregon's marijuana industry has created over 19,000 jobs since it was legalized in 2015. To say this is an established industry with thousands of people and livelihoods depending on it would be an understatement. This decision will create massive uncertainty, hurt local businesses and tax revenue, and harm public safety by driving cannabis activity back into the more risky black market.

Q: Can congress reverse Sessions' action - and would lawmakers be inclined to do so?

"I'm not anxious. Everything we do here follows state laws, and everything is up to code". Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Sessions' announcement was "disruptive to state regulatory regimes." Sen. "We had no idea it was coming, and like you, we woke up this morning to the news that there was new direction from Attorney General Sessions", she said.

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Lessar said, "The way I understand it the government just wants to be more involved in crimes like exporting and selling to children, which is not something I would necessarily be against, but we hear changes every day so it's still uncertain".

Since 2014, Congress has attached amendments to the Justice Department budget forbidding interference with laws in states that allow medical marijuana, a list that began with California in 1996 and has grown to 29 states and the District of Columbia, with a combined 60 percent of the US population. Several cannabis dispensaries could not be reached for comment. However, she doesn't expect much change in the way they already handle marijuana. The city of Coos Bay uses money gathered from pot sales to contribute to law enforcement programs like the South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team, which provides drug education and enforcement to neighborhoods in Coos, Curry and parts of Western Douglas Counties. On January 4, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman made similar remarks at a press conference. Revenue that North Bend collects from cannabis sales goes into its general fund and accounts for around $40,000 of its $28 million budget.

"The memo set out harms we saw associated with marijuana" but essentially said that otherwise "let's let the states deal with this", Cole told CNN. But Arcview's leader, Troy Dayton, said the industry was resilient.

The federal perspective, however, has never changed.

What Sessions repealed today is known as the "Cole memo".

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