Sessions “Developing Plan, Not Going to Stop Prosecuting” Marijuana

"Federal law remains in effect and it makes it unlawful to distribute or possess marijuana in any state, even though the state might legalize it."

Jeff Sessions, Fair Plan-min
From an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show, March 15, 2017.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on The Laura Ingraham Show prior to his delivery of a speech to law enforcement yesterday. When the host asked him “Will this department begin prosecuting the sale and use of marijuana,” the Attorney General once again warned of marijuana being sold in corner grocery stores, added that legalization inevitably increases teen use, and explained that he’s “not going to stop prosecuting marijuana in those states” and that the Department of Justice is “going to develop a fair plan” to address the fact that marijuana “still remains against federal law.”

INGRAHAM: Will this department begin prosecuting the sale and use of marijuana?

SESSIONS: I do not believe that this country is going to be better off if we have marijuana sold at every corner grocery store, and that it’s available in large amounts to even teenagers. No matter what the law is, once you make it quasi-legal or basically legal, then it filters easily into the young people’s hands where it does the most psychological damage according to the New England Journal of Medicine and other studies of this.

So, I think this is… the American Medical Association is the one that did, I think, the final, last major report on the dangers of it. So that’s a big deal

Secondly, it remains, as you know, federal law remains in effect and it, it makes it unlawful to distribute or possess with in… marijuana in any state even though the state might legalize it.

So, within those states we’re going to develop plans that have a good sound basis to it, and we’re not going to stop prosecuting marijuana in those states. We just don’t have the personnel to walk the streets like the local police…

INGRAHAM: How about the existing states? Like, like Colorado?

SESSIONS: Yes. Well, that’s what I mean, those states, we’re going to, it still remains against federal law…

INGRAHAM: OK.

SESSIONS: …to possess and distribute marijuana…

INGRAHAM: Got it.

SESSIONS: And we’re going to develop a fair plan for that.

INGRAHAM: Fantastic.

I think it’s time the marijuana industry stopped trying to figure out how they can “work with” Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration and started building public support and making plans for fighting them.

One of the most frustrating aspects of Barack Obama’s presidency to me was how long it took him to recognize that the Republicans weren’t interested in being bipartisan and working together to find effective solutions for governing. They were interested in one thing only, making his presidency a failure, and they were quite honest and forthright about that singular focus.

Here, again, they are not interesting in finding bipartisan solutions to the opioid epidemic or observing their own party’s alleged principles of limited government, individual responsibility, and states’ rights when it comes to legalized marijuana.

They’ve told you, time and again, they want to Make America Great Again. For Jeff Sessions, America was great from 1980-1992 when Nancy Reagan was telling people to “Just Say No,” Joe Biden was creating the Drug Czar’s office and promoting mandatory minimum sentencing, and the government whipped up scaremongering about a deadly drug that was a critical threat to children. Just substitute “opiate epidemic” for “crack babies”  and any drug war speech from the Reagan/Bush era sounds like Sessions today.

Yes, Sessions concedes that “We just don’t have the personnel to walk the streets like the local police,” but the feds never made those local dimebag busts when marijuana was illegal in all fifty states, anyway. That’s more of a cover-his-ass line to the conservatives who might bust his chops for not busting the next hempfest somebody throws nearby.

I look forward to Sessions revealing his “fair plan… with a good, sound basis to it” when it comes to enforcing federal law in the states that have legalized adult use of marijuana. In the meantime, I’ve gotten back into the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and taken my medical cannabis grower to lunch.

Russ Belville
About Russ Belville 190 Articles
Russ Belville - or "Radical" Russ, as he is known on-air - hosts The Russ Belville Show - The Voice of the Marijuana Nation, a two-hour live news and talk radio program for the cannabis community, weekdays at 3pm Pacific on RadicalRuss.com (learn more on our Podcast page).  The show is based in Portland, Oregon, but "Radical" Russ has traveled over 300,000 air miles in the past five years, bringing his show to report live from hundreds of cannabis conferences, marijuana expos, hemp festivals, and legalization events in over 50 North American cities.