Skip to comments.Law Enforcement Backs Sessionsís Ending of Hands-Off Approach to Marijuana
Posted on 01/07/2018 5:15:44 AM PST by MarvinStinson
Cite car accidents, opioid epidemic, rule of law as reasons for support
Law enforcement and prosecutor organizations gave their support to Attorney General Jeff Sessions's Thursday decision to rescind Obama-era guidance which discouraged prosecutors from enforcing the federal laws against marijuana in states which had legalized the drug.
Sessions's guidance most prominently overturned a 2013 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. Issued in the wake of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, the memo instructed U.S. Attorneys to not enforce marijuana's schedule I status in states where its recreational consumption had been legalized and regulated.
In its place, Sessions's new guidance simply instructs prosecutors to "follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions."
Law enforcement officials applauded Sessions' move.
"We applaud the Attorney General for this action today that brings clarity on enforcement of the law by rescinding a confusing policy brought on by the previous administration that hindered law enforcement. This will allow sheriffs to carry out their mission of upholding the rule of law and keeping their communities safe," said National Sheriffs' Association President Harold Eavenson and Executive Director Jonathan Thompson in a statement.
Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, "The Attorney General's announcement is good news for public safety and public health," Canterbury said. "There will be no Federal agents chasing individual usersbut it will give law enforcement the discretion it lost when the Cole Memo was issued."
Canterbury was one among a number of law enforcement officials who claimed that state-level marijuana legalization had an adverse impact on public safety, pointing to increases in marijuana-related traffic fatalities.
"This experiment of giving cover to drug dealers has had fatal consequences. When marijuana was legalized' in Colorado, traffic-related deaths due to marijuana rose from 13% to 20%. This is costing people their lives," he said.
"Drug-related deaths currently exceed motor vehicle deaths, and while some states have taken steps to change the legal status of marijuana, the substance's illegality remains federal law," noted Nathan Catura, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Bob Bushman, president of the National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition, said enforcement was especially important given the nation's increasingly deadly opioid epidemic.
"Given the current drug epidemic facing our country that is resulting in so much addiction and so many drug poisoning deaths," said Bushman, "we should be doing everything we can to discourage and curb illegal drug use. That includes marijuana."
The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis concluded in its report that "there is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana."
Law enforcement also voiced support for Session's general commitment to enforcing laws as written, rather than encouraging rulemaking through overbroad prosecutorial discretion. The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys made that case in its press release, calling for prosecutorial deference to the "rule of law."
"NAAUSA's position is that the debate over whether or not to legalize marijuana should occur in the halls of Congress and not in the halls of the Department of Justice," the release read. "Accordingly, NAAUSA believes that the Attorney General's recent action with regard to marijuana enforcement is consistent with this strongly held principle that prosecutors should follow the Rule of Law as enacted by the Congress."
The A.G.'s order was condemned by pro-marijuana legalization organizations like the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Sheriff Grady Judd, vice president of the Major County Sheriff's of America, specifically targeted such objections in his praise for the order.
"The push across the nation by organizations like NORML to legalize marijuana under the guise of helping the sick has caused black market sales of so-called legal pot to proliferate in this nation, and it has given a greater and easier access of the drug to our country's most precious resourceour children," Grady said. "I commend President Trump and Attorney General Sessions for their leadership and action in repealing the Cole Memo."
I am a total fan of Jeff Sessions. There are some things I’m not on board with, but his approach will bring sense back to the AG’s office because there is logic to what he does. It’s not all reactionary hysterical emotionalism, “the end justifies the means” stuff. Sessions is refreshing after what we’ve been through with previous administrations.
All session did was speed up the process. If you are against weed being legal you will be sorely disappointed.
Granny Clampett Session’s folly will do great harm. The MJ jackboots are way out of step with most voters.
Yes when they live in green states.
Yes, as I said, logical approach to things. It is likely that pot growers will have something more stable at the end of this which will free them from coercion.
Soros has spent many times more than anyone else to destroy the US.
But you don’t want that mentioned?
Because the money wasted on chasing weed far outpaces any money Soros has spent on anything especially your made up conspiracy. And btw your neighbors smoke weed, your kids and grandkids smoke weed, their friends smoke weed and your co-workers smoke weed. You just don’t know it.
By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press | August 28, 2008
BOSTON A measure that would decriminalize minor marijuana-possession cases is on the ballot in Massachusetts largely because of one man: billionaire financier and liberal activist George Soros.
Of the $429,000 collected last year by the group advancing the measure, $400,000 came from Mr. Soros, who has championed similar efforts in several states and spent $24 million to fight President Bush's 2004 re-election bid. The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy needed about $315,000 of that just to collect the more than 100,000 signatures that secured a spot on the ballot, according to campaign finance reports reviewed by the Associated Press.
I think the supreme court has ruled on it, that it is potentially interstate, so under federal power.
Yes? What is it with you faux conservatives and being against states rights
Pot can grow in a swamp, maybe Sessions has misunderstood “draining the swamp”.
What is it with you drug legalization advocates claiming to be conservatives?
How about $300,000,000 spent just this year.
and over trillion spent since 1971, fighting something the majority have tried:
That a majority (even republicans) don't think should be illegal.
And is less dangerous than alcohol or tobbaco, both of which govco happily regulates and taxes despite the death and destruction they cause.
Here's my crackpot conspiracy theory if I wanted to take Down a county that was in debt trillions I would get them to waste even more money on ridiculous things of no value.
These threads all seem to align the same way. But the most disturbing are those who post that really dont accept the conservative view here.
One can argue that pot is bad. There are several studies that point to that. One can argue that pot is good. There are new emerging studies that point to that. By the same token, anything in excess is bad regardless of the good and bad.
What folks here on this particular forum shouldnt be able to argue is that regardless of your position on pot itself the laws that were used to implement its prohibition, including the 1937 Marihuana Act and the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, were derived and invented on very shaky Constitutional grounds. This is especially obvious when looking at what it took to prohibit and make available again alcohol.
You dont have to be a pro-pot person to understand why this should and must be a State issue. Constitutionally, the Federal government has no right in this realm, unless they take the step of creating an Amendment that would override the boundaries of the 10th Amendment. And no, the Supremacy Clause should not apply here, as a strict reading of that clause states very clearly that it only applies to laws “made in Pursuance” of the Constitution — not laws outside of its purview.
Congress does need to act, but not to enforce its wrongly-derived law, but to fix it by passing it back to the States.
It is likely this will go to the Supreme Court with so many States now on board. Im hoping that the Originalists on the court will rule with the Constitution, and not jump through hoops (like Roberts is want to do) to come up with some vaporous reason to keep Federal prohibition in place.
I support states rights, it should be up to each states to decide what drug is legal or not
Oh Lordy. Here we go again with a pointless Drug War. We haven’t enriched the cartels enough. Of course the narcs need all that pocketable cash.
Of course the law enforcement industry supports this policy. It’s a huge money-maker for them.
The Federal law can be changed. people on our side want the laws on the books in this country enforced. Picking and choosing is not an option.
Ask your lawmakers to change the law. Problem solved. Employers in those states also have a right to disallow people engaging in drugs a job.
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