By: Mary Schumacher
Okay, we all know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions hates weed. Many also know that he assembled a hand-picked DOJ panel called the Task Force on Crime and Public Safety, whose main purpose was to find crime spikes and other negative aspects in states that have legalized marijuana.
The AP called the Task Force’s findings “tepid” at best, but it still seemed Sessions was out on an anti-pot mission. Now, it looks like he’s digested the findings and may even be heeding the Task Force’s advice, that it, “has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views,” as quoted by the AP.
The 2013 Obama era “Cole Memo” is Sessions current guiding light, and that’s a good and not so good thing. The memo is vague, and though it does imply that the status quo, the laws that The People voted in, should be left as is, it also leaves more than enough wiggle room for prosecutions.
Sessions has called the memo “truly valuable.” Inside said memo, there are eight “enforcement priorities” that could potentially give the go ahead to hassle state-licensed cannabis operations, but they’re muddy at best. One even reads as vague as, preventing “adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use,” which also smacks of reefer madness. Sorry, Cole.
Basically, Sessions really could do harm with the Cole memo as is. It ranges from lackadaisical policy to scary criminal forfeiture, which could really put manufacturers and purveyors out of business. Sessions seems content, however, with something of a compromise.
He’s had six months in office to start implementing any anti-cannabis protocols, and though the task force was a step in that direction, it pretty much fizzled out. Plus, Sessions has gone after the drug war and hard drug trafficking without implicitly including marijuana in the mix during his time in office.
Maybe Sessions realizes that a full-scale pot crackdown isn’t in his best interest. From not getting the support he needed from the task force to launch a marijuana massacre to not wanting to upset his already unpopular boss, he may just leave well enough alone. For now.source