Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (vomit!) is on track to make himself even more hated by good decent American folks by doing away with Barack Obama’s policy that allowed states to regulate the sale and use of marijuana with minimal federal interference. Sessions’s new policy will leave decisions on marijuana enforcement up to US attorneys’ offices, which of course will all be staffed with Trump appointees. We guess Sessions drew the short straw for Distract Everybody From Bannon News today.
The move — which Sessions has been telegraphing for months — comes just days after the sale of recreational weed became legal in California, where legal pot shops started opening Monday. And in states that have legalized pot sales, cannabis taxes have been a huge source of new revenue. Purely coincidental, we’re sure.
During the campaign, Donald Trump had said that the question of legal weed should be up to states to decide, as he said in this clip from an interview with a Colorado Teevee station:
Trump says in this video that he’d never let his pick for Attorney General ban recreational marijuana, says it should be up to the states. Maybe he should tell Jeff Sessions this. pic.twitter.com/2ApgycbVzu
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) January 4, 2018
In reality, the addle-pated dotard left Sessions to pursue whatever policy he wanted, so the nation’s top law enforcement officer has discarded scientific and medical evidence in favor of Reefer Madness propaganda. He’s proclaimed marijuana is just as bad as heroin, and that legal weed has led to spikes in violent crime — which makes little sense if growing and selling marijuana is done in the open and regulated, instead of by gangs. During a November congressional hearing, Sessions did at least concede that marijuana was not actually as dangerous as heroin. He also said at the time that he believed Justice was bound by a federal budget rider that prohibits the DOJ from prosecuting patients and providers who act in compliance with state laws allowing medical marijuana; it’s unclear whether Sessions intends to fight against that rule in addition to going after recreational users. He has asked Congress not to renew that rider — which, again, would allow him to bust jazz-wielding cancer patients — for the next fiscal year.
Buzzfeed’s DOJ correspondent, Dominic Holden, who wrote an invaluable article in August outlining all the problems the Trump administration would have if it seriously tried to end legalized weed, points out that while going after states that have legalized pot is possible, it wouldn’t be easy:
Holden also sees the possibility for chaos if enforcement decisions are left entirely up to the US attorneys:
Still, if Sessions actually does manage to get some really zealous prosecutors appointed, we may be able to look forward to crackdowns on people who have — for several years now — been using pot for medical purposes, as well as those nasty recreational users. Remember how great America was when we charged people with felonies for helping cancer patients deal with pain and nausea from chemotherapy?
Also, we just bet Republicans are all kinds of excited about defending the Sessions Doctrine in this fall’s elections. Jeff Sessions and his war on legal pot just might turn out to be more toxic for the Republican brand than Roy Moore.