Attorney General Jeff Sessions Just Hinted at a Crackdown on Legal Marijuana

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at the National Association of Attorneys General annual winter meeting on Tuesday in Washington

Speaking at a meeting of state attorneys general, Sessions said, "We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness".

The bill, HR 975, states, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this subchapter related to marijuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with state laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marijuana".

A similar study published in 2014 by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found states that have legalized medical cannabis have seen as much as a 50% decrease in opioid overdose deaths (with an overall average of around 25%).

"I do believe the Department of Justice is the leading advocate for law enforcement in America, and I hope to be able to fulfill my responsibility in that regard", he added. Expect "greater enforcement" against recreational marijuana, he said in response to a reporter's question about how the new AG intends to deal with conflicting state and federal law in marijuana policy.

The new signals from the Trump administration have caused jitters among industry groups, who fear a federal crackdown on what has become a billion-dollar industry in states like Colorado.

If Sessions and the Trump administration move to interfere with state pot laws, it could cost the marijuana industry hundreds of thousands of jobs. He also criticised President Obama for allowing states to control their own laws regarding cannabis, saying "we need grown-ups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalised". Recreational use and cultivation of marijuana became legal here January 30.

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. But Sessions' comments do send a message, Kelly said. They said previous year that that while the number of drug prosecutions had fallen, the cases prosecutors were pursuing involved more serious crimes. "There are no Federal laws on the growth or use of marijuana", The New York Times reported in 1931.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015, Trump said he favored medical marijuana but had concerns about broader legalization, a decision he nevertheless said should be left to the states.

It's also just the latest in a line of Obama-era policies that Sessions has rolled back since his confirmation. "Give me a break", Sessions scoffed.

"It's a tough equation to know with certainty, but I feel like legalization did not at all significantly increase threats to public safety", he said. "This is the kind of argument that has been made out there that's nearly a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits". I doubt it's true. Maybe science will prove I'm wrong, but at this point in time, you and I have a responsibility to use our best judgment - that which we've learned over a period of years - and speak truth as best we can.

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