Cole Memo Rescinded: Medical Marijuana Program Ramifications

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Medical Marijuana Program Ramifications in Maryland and Nationwide

So word has it that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going to rescind the Cole memo that has kept the Feds out of legal cannabis states. Sessions will instead let federal prosecutors decide how aggressively to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where marijuana is legal.

Do We Really Need Jeff Sessions for our Medical and Recreational Marijuana Programs?

Are we all ready for Jeff Sessions to go away yet? I mean this is the man that compared cannabis to heroin and has blamed it for spikes in violence, among other things. He believes “good people” don’t use cannabis. The man refuses to read the studies showing the benefits of cannabis as well as refuses to listen to the American people. Polls show that the majority of people are certainly in favor of some form of legal cannabis.

Why Does Jeff Sessions Want to Keep Marijuana Illegal?

Maybe it’s his interests in private prisons that drive his desire to incarcerate people for consuming a natural plant that has been proven to have medicinal properties. Remember the same Federal Government that wants to lock you up for using cannabis is the same entity that holds the patent on cannabis as a medical compound.

A task force Sessions convened to study pot policy made no recommendations for upending the legal industry but instead encouraged Justice Department officials to keep reviewing the Obama administration’s more hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement. Sessions, who served as a federal prosecutor at the height of the drug war in Mobile, Alabama, has reversed Obama-era criminal justice policies.

Those policies aimed to ease overcrowding in federal prisons and contributed to a rethinking of how drug criminals were prosecuted and sentenced. While his Democratic predecessor Eric Holder told federal prosecutors to avoid seeking long mandatory minimum sentences when charging certain lower level drug offenders, Sessions issued an order demanding the opposite, seeking the most serious charges possible against most suspects.

The People Have Spoken: Marijuana Should NOT be illegal!

Marijuana for medical purposes

How much more convoluted can we make this? People currently using medical or recreational cannabis in legal states have always been breaking Federal law, as cannabis is still against federal law. The cannabis business has since become a sophisticated, multi-million dollar industry that helps fund schools, educational programs and law enforcement.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and California’s sales alone are projected to bring in $1 billion annually in tax revenue within several years. What do you think would happen if the Feds went in and busted a cannabis business that was acting in accordance to state laws?

My guess is the states and the people won’t stand for it. It certainly won’t win any votes for Republicans either. Why would you vote for someone who cost your community jobs and a ton of tax revenue, while also prosecuting people following state law?

Many Governors and Members of Congress Have Reacted to Session’s Threats:

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a statement:

“Reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back federal marijuana policy are deeply concerning and disruptive to our state’s economy. Over 19,000 jobs have been created by the market Oregon worked carefully to build in good faith and in accordance with the Cole Memorandum.

The federal government must keep its promise to states that relied on its guidance. States are the laboratories of democracy, where progressive policies are developed and implemented for the benefit of their people. Voters in Oregon were clear when they chose for Oregon to legalize the sale of marijuana and the federal government should not stand in the way of the will of Oregonians.

My staff and state agencies are working to evaluate reports of the Attorney General’s decision and will fight to continue Oregon’s commitment to a safe and prosperous recreational marijuana market.”

Republican Sen. Cory Gardner posted a Tweet blasting Sessions’ reported decision:

“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation,” the Coloradan posted on Twitter. “With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states. (President Donald Trump) had it right. This must be left up to the states.

Colorado congresswoman Diana DeGette, Chief Deputy Whip, said in a statement:

“This step could drag us back to the days of raids on legal dispensaries and people living in fear being jailed for using the medical marijuana they need. It could create a chilling effect on an industry that employs thousands of people in Colorado alone, where sales now top $1 billion per year. The federal government shouldn’t take punitive steps that undermine the will of our citizens expressed at the state level.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont released a statement:

“No, Attorney General Sessions. Marijuana is not the same as heroin. No one who has seriously studied the issue believes that marijuana should be classified as a Schedule 1 drug beside killer drugs like heroin. Quite the contrary. We should allow states the right to move toward the decriminalization of marijuana, not reverse the progress that has been made in recent years.”

Perhaps my favorite quote is from New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand:

“Attorney General Sessions’ reported decision is a direct attack on patients. Parents should be able to give their sick kids the medicine they need without having to fear that they will be prosecuted. Veterans should be able to come home from combat and use the medicine they need without having to fear they will be prosecuted.

This is about public health, and it’s about reforming our broken criminal justice system that throws too many minorities in prison for completely nonviolent offenses. I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting this shortsighted decision and supporting my broadly bipartisan bill, the CARERS Act, to keep the federal government out of the way when doctors and patients decide that medical marijuana is the best treatment for them.”

There is much more to come on this. Keep fighting the good and just fight.

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10 comments on “Cole Memo Rescinded: Medical Marijuana Program Ramifications

  1. I’ve been suffering from a severe panic/anxiety for years I’ve been subscribed Xanax. I’m trying to go with a natural product. I also suffer from major headaches. I believe that it’s a personal choice on how and what you use for your health

  2. Take it from an ole Vietnam Vet, if it was that bad for us, I wouldn’t be here, waisting my time and preaching @ 71Y’sO. (And, in “great” health too) The only thing that I can see Marijuana being a “gateway” too is cookies (And plenty of them). Trust me, I don’t drink alcohol or take any other recreational drugs, nor do I have any desire to. I guess I just don’t get the connection between “addiction” and cannibis. When compared with other more insidious “recreational” drugs”, least of which is alcohol, cannibis appears to be the least armful.
    I run 6 1/2 miles each morning, after 350 setups and try to watch what I eat. Although I’m retired, I still maintain 2 hobbies, fishing and playing guitar. Yes, I’m bragging and it feels darn good too! But my point is, it has never been a a roadblock to my motivation. If anything, I feel better about doing whatever needs to be done. (DRIVING EXCLUDED)
    Now all of you Bureaucrats, please step aside and don’t try to postpone the inevitable.

    Please?
    I think the real issue here is weather people are going to use this newly available drug responsibly. If

  3. Reverse progress gets frustrating but is to be expected in our civilization. Gr. Kudos to all who work so hard to make legalization, for so many reasons, a continuous priority despite (and because of) opposition.

  4. “Many Governors and members of Congress have reacted to Session’s threats:”
    For starters, I have been a legalization proponent/activist for nearly fifty years. Jeff Sessions has more balls & spine than these governors and especially congressmen. He is charged with enforcing the Law and that what he is doing. These spineless politicians have had the power to get rid of the law but have not. Change the Fed law and stop supporting two faced spineless politicians that can but do nothing except run their mouths. I have seen these spineless politicians and their hypocrisies way too much.

  5. The real reason is BIG PHARMA won’t get their cut of this “grown” herb! This is one fight the US Government should never step into. They know for a fact it will help people, it is NOT a gateway drug!! To withhold something this simple from our soldiers returning from any battle is a shame and a sham.
    WHY? Why do this people think they know what’s good for those of us that suffer? Please do not tell me some of those making these decisions are not receiving this healing ‘drug’! I say we should make them all take drug tests to prove who’s doing what, and until they can clean up the mess they have created. Stay out of this one!

  6. The real reason is BIG PHARMA won’t get their cut of this “grown” herb! This is one fight the US Government should never step into. They know for a fact it will help people, it is NOT a gateway drug!! To withhold something this simple from our soldiers returning from any battle is a shame and a sham.
    WHY? Why do this people think they know what’s good for those of us that suffer? Please do not tell me some of those making these decisions are not receiving this healing ‘drug’! I say we should make them all take drug tests to prove who’s doing what, and until they can clean up the mess they have created. Stay out of this one!

  7. It’s all about the money.

    Who benefits directly and monetarily from the cannabis prohibition? (1), the black market-criminal gangs. (2), the government at all levels, (3), the law enforcement industry, (4), big pharma.

    Notice that now big money is also playing a role in anti-prohibition or re-legalization of cannabis, we have a bit of a different story going on. I’m a little long in the tooth so I remember the days when cannabis wasn’t under Federal prohibition. There was the MTA of 1937, but that was an IRS tax evasion scheme before my time and who the devil besides Al Capone ever heard of that right? But that was essentially it back then. Speaking about Vietnam, it wasn’t until Nixon and the FBI tied pot to the Nation-wide anti-war effort and to counter that on a complete whimsy made it illegal at the Federal level.

    So I can get big pharma’s fentanyl for a bad tooth and buy a gun while on the no-fly list no questions asked.

    Curious that the Medical Marijuana programs in many states, Maryland’s program seeming to be one of the better thought through programs (should be, we waited five years…), could serve as an outstanding role model for the control of the opioid issue.

    To buy legal medical marijuana I have to be tagged and recorded by the state. Each and every purchase is meticulously recorded and weighed against the states legal monthly limit unless a doctor says differently and presumably wants to wrangle with the bureaucrats. The medicine is tightly and hermetically sealed in a stapled shut bag and purchased under the tightest security anywhere outside of a Federal Treasury vault. I’m bombarded with warnings about how dangerous and controlled this medicine is and made to feel as if I’m sneaking a capitalist free trade dissertation into North Korea. If the cat eats it, well its off to the gulag with me!

    There’s an old saying about someone making my shoe wet and telling me it’s raining. Yep, speaking of Vietnam, makes me remember CCR and “Fortunate Son”. Toin it up!!!

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