We Can Smell Our Own
Sessions an easy enemy for lawmakers
A few weeks ago I said that rather than bringing an end to cannabis acceptance in the US, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was going to unite the Republican party against him and prove once and for all that support for the plant is bipartisan. Now some members of the GOP are getting antsy about the renegade and speaking out publicly. I'm still holding my breath.
See, earlier this month: The gargoyle climbed down from his perch on the corner of the Robert F. Kennedy building long enough to write a memo that reversed Obama era policies which protect states where cannabis is legal from federal prosecutors. His long, ribbon-like tongue licked his eyeball and he sighed with contentment.
But the memo only told federal prosecutors that they were free to go go after whomever they liked, state laws be damned. It was a policy change rather than a law change, and so far, no dispensaries have been tear gassed by stormtroopers.
What did happen: Republican Sen. Cory Gardener, of Colorado, told Rolling Stone that Sessions had guaranteed that “marijuana would not be a priority for this administration.” Gardener is reportedly mad as hell and even went to have a sit-down with the old bastard. Apparently the meeting was fruitless, since Gardener told reporters that neither he nor Sessions had changed their positions and that he looked forward to a “resolution.” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, told CNN earlier this month that Sessions “betrays the people who have had faith in him,” presumably speaking about the Trump administration.
And in an absolutely out-of-left-field move last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers came out in the open in the House of Representatives to criticize Sessions and show support for pro-cannabis bills.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced a bill titled the “REFER Act,” which would effectively reverse Sessions' reversal of the Cole memo, barring federal law enforcement agencies from prosecuting cannabis producers and consumers in states where it's legal (as long as certain safety restrictions are observed). The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Don Young (R-AK), Dina Titus (D-NV) and Jared Polis (D-CO).
But here's the big one: The “Marijuana Justice Act,” introduced by Reps. Lee and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.). It's a companion piece to a bill introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) last year. This bill is supported by a dozen House Democrats and would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances. Furthermore, it promises to provide “restorative justice,” meaning the federal government will begin making reparations to communities disproportionately affected by the drug war. And, if it isn't already shocking enough, the bill proposes creating a $500 million fund to create job training programs to help create a base for the industry.
Will the bill go through? I mean, I don't want to jinx anything, but I doubt it. What it does is get people buzzing about it and realizing that Americans want cannabis legalized.