Senators push AG Sessions to back off on marijuana

Two U.S. senators from states with legal adult-use marijuana led a letter-writing effort asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to back off from any Department of Justice crackdown targeting recreational cannabis.

According to Politico, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) co-signed a letter on Thursday to Sessions stating, “We respectfully request that you uphold DOJ’s existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational use.”

 The Obama administration allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws. Recent comments from Sessions and White Press Secretary Sean Spicer have led industry watchers to question whether the Trump administration would change the federal government’s stance toward adult-use cannabis.

Adding to the confusion over the Trump administration’s stance is the fact that some Republican senators have said Sessions reassured them privately that there wouldn’t be a major change in marijuana enforcement, Politico reported.

The following Senate Democrats also signed the Sessions letter: Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado..

Separately, Nevada’s two senators sent a letter to Sessions on Wednesday urging the attorney general to allow states to carry on with their their own adult-use cannabis programs, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Nevada is in the process of rolling out a rec program.

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8 comments on “Senators push AG Sessions to back off on marijuana
  1. William Clark on

    No one should promote the canard that marijuana is socially undesirable, or dangerous–inherently toxic–like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    Don’t want it in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re not the Christian you thought you were.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

    • Rebecca Lee on

      Mr Clark, can I buy you lunch? That was the most eloquent and informed “comment” I have ever read. I follow many cannabis friendly sources of information and I must commend you for your sophisticated, humorous and non-caustic reply.

  2. numb nuts on

    Recreational operator/owners need to build it like a winery or follow the blueprint of a micro brewery. sadly all others will fade into history. get all your ducks in a row before you launch and squander all of your life savings away!

  3. Cactus Bill on

    William Clark
    Excellent presentation!
    Thank you for posting valid talking points that can and should be utilized by “us” during any conversations with “them”.

    Speaking of “them”, AG Sessions appears to have made himself into another large torpedo hole in the Ship of Trump.
    As any mariner knows, even a stout vessel can only absorb so many torpedos before heading for Davy Jones locker.

  4. Johnny V.. on

    It’s about time someone stood up to Mr Sessions and told him to shove off! He is SO Misinformed and Hard headed its truly amazing, how can a person in his Position be so ignorant of the facts about marijuana..

    The problem is he just doesnt want to admit he was WRONG all these years.. How does he know Pot is bad for you >?? Did he try it, was he a regular user for a few weeks or months ? If not he has NO IDEA what he’s is talking about……

    Hes Diagnosing a problem when he doesn’t even know or understand the symptoms.. To use a metaphor…

    He needs to get educated and see the REAL truth and FACTS behind Marijuana.. It has HELPED people with many health issues for Thousands of Years! Are You gonna let Mr Jeff Sessions tell you to stop in the face of thousands of years proof ?

    He needs to do his job Elsewhere.. The Heroin problem is TOTALLY out of control, people are dying and thousands of crimes are committed each year Directly related to it’s use.. But… You don’t hear him talking about that do you ??

    Whats wrong with this picture ?

  5. Paul Sorensen on

    I appreciate the respectful approach of all of these legislators.
    Decades ago, this is how government functioned. And through these methods, we will win over voters and get what we want: “legal, available, regulated cannabis nationally”.

  6. bdean60 on

    William Clark comment was well spoken and hits all the points. Best that I’ve heard recently. Thanks much :).

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