Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Sessions, Says 'Marijuana Isn't Heroin'

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Sessions, Says 'Marijuana Isn't Heroin'

On Thursday, Jeff Sessions rescinded the 2013 Obama administration guidance that suggested the federal government would not intervene in US states where the drug is legal, which has opened the door for several states to legalize pot for medical and recreational purposes.

Bob Troyer, the USA attorney in Colorado, said his office "has already been guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions, focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state" and would "continue to take this approach". We all know that at the federal level marijuana has remained illegal even as many states passed laws legalizing its use. And although we have not advocated for Maryland to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, preferring instead to see how other states' experiments with that policy play out, we believe Congress should extend that budget restriction to all forms of state-sanctioned pot businesses.

Washington, D.C., and eight states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - have legalized recreational marijuana.

Sessions, a longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, on Thursday moved to rescind the Cole Memo, a document which de-prioritized the use of federal funds to enforce cannabis prohibition. "This unjust, backwards decision is wrong for America, and will prove to be on the wrong side of history". "Congress needs to take immediate action to protect state marijuana laws and the patients that rely on them".

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Sessions, Says 'Marijuana Isn't Heroin'

A senior Justice Department official said the Obama-era policy "resulted in a belief that certain marijuana operators would not be prosecuted" and was perceived "to have created a safe harbor for the industry to operate". He also called out Sessions' for his ridiculous views on marijuana, including that the drug is as unsafe as heroin.

Sessions has recused himself from any participation in any investigations into the Trump campaign's dealings with Russian Federation, but some Republicans on Capitol Hill have shared Trump's frustration that this decision should have been announced before Trump considered him for the post, and are frustrated that more isn't being done to rein in perceived overreach by Mueller under the watch of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In general, states should be allowed to police themselves.

McGahn proceeded to carry out Trump's demand by lobbying Sessions-a move slammed by former Office of Government Ethics head Walter Shaub as an attempt to convince Sessions to "break the law"-but the effort ultimately failed".

All of the reactions, in addition to the criticism Sessions got from Republicans, were encouraging to marijuana activists.

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