Guess Who Just Ruined Recreational + Medical Marijuana for Everyone
I'll give you a hint -- when he's not the Attorney General, he bakes cookies in a tree with the other elves.
That's right! Jeff Sessions, the little racist elf that could, has rescinded the Cole memo and related guidance from 2009, which essentially ends the federal government's hands-off approach to state marijuana laws.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Cole memo -- it's basically what allows recreational marijuana to be legal in the United States. Marijuana is still illegal federally, but in 2013 the Obama administration basically said the feds would "stand down" and let states do their thing when it came to weed laws via the Cole memo. It was modeled after a 2009 memo that informed U.S. attorneys to "not focus federal resources in your states on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Well, kiss both of them goodbye.
This is yet another one of those decisions that make regular people scratch their heads. I mean, I totally understand why Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions -- a man who once said he thought Ku Klux Klan members were "okay until he learned they smoked marijuana," who said "good people don't smoke marijuana," and who also thinks that marijuana is in the same ballpark as heroin -- would do something like this. What I don't get is why this administration continues to make totally unnecessary and highly unpopular policy choices like this.
Much like net neutrality, this is another "we don't care what you want, we're doing this anyway" move. Forget that each subsequent poll on the subject shows that a steadily-increasing majority of Americans support marijuana legalization (a recent poll puts that figure at 64%) -- Trump's peeps are going to do what they want and not even give you a coherent reason as to why.
This is a really tough break for California, who just went fully legal a few days ago. They were poised to become the nation's biggest marijuana market, with projected annual tax revenues as high $1 billion. Now California, along with the 7 other states that have legalized recreational marijuana and another 29 with medical use legalized, have to operate in fear of federal intervention. Isn't it funny how states' rights are only important to Republicans when they're rights they support?
Much like net neutrality, the true cost of this move might take a while to present itself, but when it does, and believe me it will -- you'll know it. So while your feeling towards this might be "who cares" at the moment, next time you're at the polls ask yourself why you would vote for people who support unpopular policies like this? You have to wonder whose interests they're looking out for, because it's certainly not those the people.
Also, 'member this?