Attorney General Jeff Sessions has penned a letter to Congressional leaders requesting the Department of Justice (DOJ) be financially unshackled – allowing the federal agency use their budget to obstruct, hinder, and prosecute individuals in states where medical marijuana is legal.
Better known as the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment, Session’s May 1 letter to Congressional leaders requested federal lawmakers oppose the provision. And, breaking yet another campaign promise in which candidate Trump pledged “100%” support for states that have legalized medical marijuana, the Trump administration appears to be on board with turning up the legal heat on state-sanctioned medical marijuana businesses.
Sessions noted in the letter: “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the department to find particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”
The U.S. AG rationalized his archaic request to those in Congress by offering only hyperbolic innuendo, and the occasional bad actor as fact. “Drug traffickers already cultivate and distribute marijuana inside the United States under the guise of state medical marijuana laws.”
Strongly disagreeing with the AG’s philosophy, in 2016 “the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit interpreted this provision broadly to apply both to the Department actions that prevent states from implementing their laws regarding medical marijuana and to Department prosecutions of certain individuals and organizations that operate under those laws.” Concluding that, “the Department may not prosecute violations of the CSA with respect to marijuana unless the court concludes that the individuals or organizations are not in compliance with state medical marijuana law.”
Sessions, in an attempt to explain his infamous “good people don’t smoke marijuana” comment, noted, “My words have been grossly mischaracterized and taken out of context… I was discussing the value of treating people for using dangerous and illegal drugs like marijuana, and the context in which treatment is successful.”
No fan of the growing research that demonstrates marijuana’s medicinal efficacy, Sessions cited the Department of Health and Human Services and the DEA in demonizing the medicinal herb, adding, “Marijuana has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.”
First reported by Tom Angell on Monday, this leaked letter to Congressional leaders quickly went viral.