Skip to comments.Law Enforcement Backs Sessions’s Ending of Hands-Off Approach to Marijuana
Posted on 01/07/2018 5:15:44 AM PST by MarvinStinson
Cite car accidents, opioid epidemic, rule of law as reasons for support
Law enforcement and prosecutor organizations gave their support to Attorney General Jeff Sessions's Thursday decision to rescind Obama-era guidance which discouraged prosecutors from enforcing the federal laws against marijuana in states which had legalized the drug.
Sessions's guidance most prominently overturned a 2013 memo from then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. Issued in the wake of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, the memo instructed U.S. Attorneys to not enforce marijuana's schedule I status in states where its recreational consumption had been legalized and regulated.
In its place, Sessions's new guidance simply instructs prosecutors to "follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions."
Law enforcement officials applauded Sessions' move.
"We applaud the Attorney General for this action today that brings clarity on enforcement of the law by rescinding a confusing policy brought on by the previous administration that hindered law enforcement. This will allow sheriffs to carry out their mission of upholding the rule of law and keeping their communities safe," said National Sheriffs' Association President Harold Eavenson and Executive Director Jonathan Thompson in a statement.
Chuck Canterbury, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said, "The Attorney General's announcement is good news for public safety and public health," Canterbury said. "There will be no Federal agents chasing individual usersbut it will give law enforcement the discretion it lost when the Cole Memo was issued."
Canterbury was one among a number of law enforcement officials who claimed that state-level marijuana legalization had an adverse impact on public safety, pointing to increases in marijuana-related traffic fatalities.
"This experiment of giving cover to drug dealers has had fatal consequences. When marijuana was legalized' in Colorado, traffic-related deaths due to marijuana rose from 13% to 20%. This is costing people their lives," he said.
"Drug-related deaths currently exceed motor vehicle deaths, and while some states have taken steps to change the legal status of marijuana, the substance's illegality remains federal law," noted Nathan Catura, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Bob Bushman, president of the National Narcotic Officers' Associations' Coalition, said enforcement was especially important given the nation's increasingly deadly opioid epidemic.
"Given the current drug epidemic facing our country that is resulting in so much addiction and so many drug poisoning deaths," said Bushman, "we should be doing everything we can to discourage and curb illegal drug use. That includes marijuana."
The President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis concluded in its report that "there is a lack of sophisticated outcome data on dose, potency, and abuse potential for marijuana."
Law enforcement also voiced support for Session's general commitment to enforcing laws as written, rather than encouraging rulemaking through overbroad prosecutorial discretion. The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys made that case in its press release, calling for prosecutorial deference to the "rule of law."
"NAAUSA's position is that the debate over whether or not to legalize marijuana should occur in the halls of Congress and not in the halls of the Department of Justice," the release read. "Accordingly, NAAUSA believes that the Attorney General's recent action with regard to marijuana enforcement is consistent with this strongly held principle that prosecutors should follow the Rule of Law as enacted by the Congress."
The A.G.'s order was condemned by pro-marijuana legalization organizations like the National Association for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
Sheriff Grady Judd, vice president of the Major County Sheriff's of America, specifically targeted such objections in his praise for the order.
"The push across the nation by organizations like NORML to legalize marijuana under the guise of helping the sick has caused black market sales of so-called legal pot to proliferate in this nation, and it has given a greater and easier access of the drug to our country's most precious resourceour children," Grady said. "I commend President Trump and Attorney General Sessions for their leadership and action in repealing the Cole Memo."
I remember Jimmy Carter’s campaign where he was photographed wearing an Allman Brothers Band T-shirt and having decriminalization-legalization on his agenda. It worked out for him okay but here we are more than 40 years later...
The next hiring boom, and housing boom, will be the boom in the incarceration industry - just like the Energy industries, the Rule of Law will promote both Justice for Socially unJust, and peace and security for the rest of society!
It’s something to promise on the carrot end and “vote for me or your business gets it!” on the stick end. Perpetual uncertainty, perpetual coercion. Not a good thing.
“If legalization takes place, cops cant seize cars, cash, homes on the pretext that it might be used for marijuana sales. Ends the cash cow that has taken hundreds of millions illegally from law abiding taxpayers.”
In addition to asset forfeiture...which Sessions loves...the new policy gives law enforcement more excuses to harass and push people around.
There are no less marijuana users or marijuana businesses today than there were before Sessions acted, the only difference is they are now no longer legal taxpayers they are “criminals”
Weed should not be a schedule 1 substance and the tax money lost to drug cartels and criminals due to the sale of marijuana on the black market, which will continue and increase due to the actions of the AG and DOJ, additionally the money wasted on the policing, prosecution and incarceration of potheads is a massive waste of resources. proven historically by the implementation and the eventual repeal of the prohibition of. alcohol.
How many other laws passed through Congress and signed by a president has DOJ decided not to enforce?? This action by DOJ and Obama to rule the law null and void can’t stand. Session did the right thing.
Yeah cause California citizens voting to allow people to make Thier own choice about smoking pot is a much bigger issue than they state ignoring federal immigration law. Gtfooh with your stupid pictures, use your words of you are able.
govt employees and their unions ust trying to pad their budgets
drug addition is exactly the same as it was before the ( failed ) war on drugs. the war on drugs has not stopped one person from becoming a addict.
“The states have the right to legalize marijuana, or whatever else they want.”
Like heroin, LSD, Ecstacy?
That’s what Soros wants.
He’s working on heroin right now in Seattle, Washington.
Potheads react to pictures?
Potheads love their pot.
Medicinal heroin and recreational heroin.
You got it.
Thank god there’s none of that stuff in Texas bwhahahaha
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