Sessions rescinding an Obama-era policy on marijuana has witnessed a slew of recreations condemning his stance.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday has chided the hardline Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his latest bid to rescind an Obama-era policy, which saw some U.S. states legalize marijuana within their jurisdiction irrespective of the federal government stance.
In a tweet, Sanders, who ran as a candidate for the presidential primaries for the Democratic party in 2016, said: “No, Attorney General Sessions. Marijuana is not the same as heroin.”
He added: “No one who has seriously studied the issue believes that. Quite the contrary. We should allow states the right to move toward the decriminalization of marijuana, not reverse the progress that has been made.”
On Thursday, Sessions issued a memo from the Justice Department, ordering “a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents,” in his latest assault against legal marijuana.
Sessions has long vowed to change the Obama administration’s policy. In 2013, the former administration announced that it would not stand in the way of states that legalize marijuana. As long as officials acted to keep it from migrating to places where it remained criminalized.
“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” he said, ordering “all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles.”
In defiance, the US attorney in Colorado, where both recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal, said there will be no change to marijuana enforcement despite Sessions’ shift on pot policy.
Sessions’ attempt will leave it anyways to U.S. attorneys to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law.
In reaction, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened in a series of tweets on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department nominees unless Sessions backs from advancing his crackdown on already legalized marijuana.
Gardner said Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change the Obama-era policy.
Here is another reaction from a U.S. Senator from New York: