Sessions Faces Bipartisan Condemnation, Lawsuit From US Teen On Anti-Pot Move

Sessions has annulled an Obama-era policy allowing states to legalize marijuana within their jurisdiction.
Sessions has annulled an Obama-era policy allowing states to legalize marijuana within their jurisdiction. (File image via Reuters)

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ latest assault on legalized marijuana on Thursday has received a “growing bipartisan”. Condemnation from Senators, Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz said in a tweet.

There is a growing bipartisan group of Senators that is not going to stand by while Jeff Sessions takes us back several generations on marijuana policy,” he wrote on Thursday.

Sessions, who is President Donald Trump’s appointee, ordered on Thursday to annul an Obama-era policy. This allowed some U.S. states legalize marijuana within their jurisdiction irrespective of the federal government stance.  

But Sessions’ Thursday memo asked for the “return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents,”. As a result, this would permit the federal government to intervene in areas where marijuana has long been legalized.

“It’s radical and cruel to send federal law enforcement agents into states to punish small businesses because of old-time Reefer Madness superstition,” Schatz said. Schatz comes from a state where medical marijuana was legalized in 2016.

Trump and Sessions are facing backlash

In the state of Colorado, voters legalized cultivation and possession in 2012. In 2014, lead to the full-fledged legalization. Republican Senator Cory Gardner has sent a tirade of statements to Sessions, expressing his blatant anger.

Gardner said Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change the Obama-era policy. Also, Gardner is chairman of the GOP’s Senate campaign arm who further blasted Sessions’ decision. They described it as “a trampling of Colorado’s rights, its voters.”

“Why is Donald Trump thinking differently than what he promised the people of Colorado in 2016?” Gardner said in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.  Trump’s campaign promised to leave the issue of marijuana legalization to states. “Thousands of jobs at risk, millions of dollars in revenue. Certainly, the question of constitutional states rights is very much at the core of this discussion.”

Also, Stephen Colbert, host of the Late Night talk show, joined others condemning the move.

He reminded his Twitter followers that a: “A 12yearold Colorado girl who takes medical marijuana for seizures is already suing Jeff Sessions and the DEA.”

“Mr. Sessions, you do not want to mess with a 12yearold girl. She’s probably twice your height and she’s on that demon weed!” he added with sarcasm.

Bernie Sanders to the rescue

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday also has chided the hardline the attorney general, when he told him a tweet that “marijuana is not heroin.”

Sanders is the State Senator of Vermont where it was expected that it would be the “first domino” to fall in terms of legalizing weed among other 12 other U.S. states this year.

If marijuana legalization is approved, Vermont would likely legalize the possession of an ounce of marijuana. In addition, the cultivation of two mature marijuana plants for adults 21 and older. 

Sessions believes that marijuana is a “gateway drug” and legalizing it will increase its consumption. However, according to new data published by the U.S. federal government, Colorado adolescents were using marijuana at the lowest rate in a decade. In addition, the rates at which the same group of children are using continues to decline since recreational marijuana went on sale here in 2014.

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