Sessions's Marijuana Crackdown Could Pose Problems For Medical Pot In Connecticut

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington

Reversing the Obama administration, Sessions said the Justice Department was withdrawing legal guidelines known as the Cole and Ogden memos, widely seen as giving safe harbour against prosecution to cannabis businesses in states where pot is legal. All this was fostered by a 2013 document called the Cole Memorandum issued by the Obama administration that set marijuana priorities for federal prosecutors. "If they go to 7-11 to pick up cannabis, they're willing to pay 10 to 15 percent on top of what they get on the street. As a law enforcement officer in the executive branch, it is my sworn responsibility to enforce that law". Congress is responsible for passing and upholding the CSA, which defines marijuana as a substance that supposedly has no medical benefit and is as unsafe as heroin. "Further, all the laws and regulations put in place governing the use of marijuana in our state clearly restrict it to a matter internal to the state of Colorado".

We represent a state that posed the question of marijuana legalization to its voters not once, but twice.

Polis has been a longtime advocate for updating federal marijuana policy.

We don't agree. We believe federal oversight - however limited - of this controversial decision to legalize recreational marijuana will only benefit MA residents, who appear increasingly opposed to legalized pot.

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The policy shift announced by Sessions "spurs Congress [to] an even greater need to act in this area of law", Gardner said.

A state can have any law it wants with regard to marijuana. Tsongas said she has backed the use of marijuana for medical purposes and decriminalization for minor possession.

Gardner has convened a bipartisan group of senators to work on legislation protecting states with legal marijuana. Under current law, possession of marijuana is still a federal crime and the federal government can choose to enforce its law however it chooses. Just imagine if some states legalized alcohol sales despite a federal prohibition against it?

Contrary to what many believe, marijuana laws continue to be enforced.

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What effects do people foresee on the burgeoning marijuana industry in the state?

Baker, who did not support the ballot initiative that brought legal marijuana to MA, added that it has the support of the people, and that he would tell Lelling he should "recognize and understand that the voters of MA voted to create a legal, regulated recreational marijuana market here in the commonwealth". The primary argument for keeping marijuana illegal is that it is harmful.

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health was unable to respond to a request for comment by publication about the future of West Virginia's medical marijuana program.

Ultimately, though, the question is whether states should be able to decide this question for themselves, including choosing to gain the taxes from legal marijuana.

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the opening session of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington, D.C., on December 4.

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