Attorney General Jeff Sessions continues to ramp up the war on drugs. As a matter of fact, he is asking congressional leaders to undo federal medical marijuana protections that have been in place since 2014, according to a May letter that became public Monday.
Sessions wants to personally prosecute those who use marijuana for medical purposes and he wants to use our tax dollars to do it. The medical marijuana protections, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, prohibit the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent certain states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” Sessions has asked Congress to undo those protections, which would violate state rights, and lead to the eventual violation of even more human rights.
In his letter, first obtained by Tom Angell of Massroots.com and verified independently by The Washington Post, Sessions argued that the amendment would “inhibit [the Justice Department’s] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.” He continued in his letter saying:
I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.
Sessions cites the “historic drug epidemic” to justify a crackdown on medical marijuana. But that is clearly at odds with what researchers know about current drug use and abuse in the United States. The epidemic Sessions refers to involves deadly opiate drugs, not marijuana. Marijuana has no known overdose amount, unlike other chemical substances and opioid-related deaths are also plummeting in states which have legalized the use of marijuana. Sessions is trying to actively promote violence at this point because the research clearly shows that cracking down on marijuana use would make the opiate epidemic even worse.
Sessions is very outspoken about his desire to continue to prosecute those who use marijuana for medical reasons. But under former President Barack Obama, the Justice Department also sought to undermine the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. It circulated misleading talking pointsamong Congress to influence the debate over the measure. It also, like Sessions’ letter, attempted to enforce the amendment in a way that “defies language and logic,” “tortures the plain meaning of the statute” and is “at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law,” according to the ruling of a federal judge.
Sessions seeks to use the strong arm of the government to force his personal opinions on how one should treat themselves. Obama did the same thing with Obamacare, which is also backed by force. The government’s rationale for cracking down on marijuana and getting involved in our health care is misguided at best, and tragic at worst. The government doesn’t know what’s best for individuals, who are the smallest minority.
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