In January, I wrote a column imagining the different directions federal cannabis law could take under President Trump. As you’ve hopefully learned by following along with my far smarter colleagues in their weekly “Ask a Pot Lawyer” columns, the scenarios I proposed are already hilariously outdated.
That’s because the cannabis policy undertaken by Attorney General Ku Klux Keebler is perfectly in line with the various national “policies” set forth by Fake-Tan Hitler. It is unhinged, unpredictable, based upon private gain and racist beliefs, and seeks to inflict the most heinous suffering on our most vulnerable populations.
So, what’s Li’l Jeffy Sessions been up to since we last checked in? I’m so glad you asked.
In May, Sessions sent a letter to Congress, asking it to help end a bipartisan amendment that protects medical cannabis programs from prosecution by federal authorities. (It’s now known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, renamed in part for Representative Earl Blumenauer—mad congressional respect, Oregon!) Sessions wrote to Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell and Representatives Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi, strongly urging them to come to the dark side with him.
In late July, lawmakers replied by letting Sessions know that, it being the end of the fiscal year, the House and Senate had already allocated all of their 2017 fucks, and thus having no fucks left to give, provided him with a rebuke by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who said: “Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have decided it’s more humane to regulate medical marijuana than to criminalize it. Almost every state—46 right now, and counting—regulates the use of a marijuana derivative that is used to treat epilepsy and other rare medical conditions.... The federal government can’t investigate everything. And shouldn’t. And I don’t want them spending money pursuing medical marijuana patients who are following state law.”
Earlier that month, Sessions announced plans to “issue a new directive for asset forfeiture—especially drug traffickers.” As I’ve explored before [Cannabuzz, May 25, 2016], asset forfeiture is a super neat thing where law enforcement can take anything and everything you own, including all your cash, if they think it’s related to profits from a drug crime. Is growing cannabis for the recreational market, or selling said cannabis at a recreational dispensary, a crime? We might find out soon.
Sessions formed a task force in February to examine drug trafficking, immigration and violent crime, and in response, Oregon and Colorado prepared lengthy reports for the Justice Department showing how they were tackling issues of concern (such as seed-to-sale tracking, oversupply, public safety, and other matters). They also offered a reminder that tremendous tax revenue was being generated with virtually no uptick in public safety or health issues.
Since being a flaccid racist wasn’t filling up enough of his free time, Sessions responded with letters to the governors and attorneys general of several states with recreational cannabis programs, including Oregon and Washington. It used outdated and false data about the evils of jazz tobacco, alongside some dubious claims that cannabis from Washington had been found “destined for 43 states.” (Of course, being “destined” means nothing, as anyone who’s read a horoscope can tell you.)
In late July, Sessions’ task force forwarded its recommendations, but with this being an open, transparent democracy, the Justice Department promptly explained that they would not be revealing what the report says.
Mind you, this is all occurring as the country hits record-breaking support in polls for allowing access to medical cannabis if a doctor prescribes it—a whopping 94 percent of voters are in favor, according to an April 20 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, with 60 percent believing the US should make it legal entirely.
So Sessions wants to shut down medical and recreational cannabis programs. Congress isn’t too keen on helping him, but the Justice Department only needs so much in the way of cooperation to do so.
This entire administration is so batshit crazy that I no longer have any projections or predictions. Except that Jeff Sessions is going to Hell, even if it means the universe needs to create one for him.