The new memo directs all U.S. Attorneys to enforce the laws enacted by Congress in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which prohibits the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.
"I do not believe there's any argument, because a state legalized marijuana, that the federal law against marijuana is no in existence", he told radio host Hugh Hewitt in October.
The main effect of Sessions' action is to cause uncertainty, which will disrupt the newly burgeoning legal pot markets in states like Colorado and California.
It's not uncommon to see policies changed from one Presidential administration to another, as each tries to shape the nation, and, ultimately, their legacy, in the way that makes the most sense to them and their party. California led the way in 1996, when voters approved marijuana for medical use. Prescriptions for antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and the opioid-based painkillers at the heart of our current national crisis were all lower in states with access to medical marijuana, with 25 percent fewer opioid overdoses on average.
Some Republican and Democratic governors of coastal states have spoken in opposition to Trump's plan announced this week, to allow oil drilling in the Arctic and off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
Gov. Tom Wolf also criticized the Trump Administration's decision that essentially negates the Obama administration's policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws.
An increasing number of states, meanwhile, have legalized marijuana. The Trump Administration must put patients' rights first, and I will not stand for backwards attacks on the progress made in Pennsylvania to provide medicine to those in need. Another questioned how the Justice Department could justify allocating resources to go after legal users when there are other pressing issues to address.
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"When the policy is so broad and uncertain that it's left case by case to different decision makers, it creates confusion and uncertainty that can be unjust", Walsh said.
Bell said she's hopeful that members of Congress continue to support states that have chosen to allow medical use of marijuana.
In fact, the landscape has shifted so dramatically in recent years that some of the harshest critics of Sessions were senators and representatives, many of them prominent Republicans, from states with cannabis programs that generate much-needed medicine and tax revenue.
Promoting the constitutional protections for states' rights - outlined in the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - has always been popular among politicians. Sessions has been outspoken about his views against marijuana and his opinions that drug enforcement should be increased across the board.
US attorneys around the country responded cautiously to Sessions' announcement.
Federal laws outlawing marijuana violate the Constitution, justify violations of civil liberties, and increase violence. But if you want to leave marijuana decisions up to the states, there's an easy way to do that: Repeal the federal marijuana law.
In 1932, when Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis deemed US states "laboratories" for democracy, he couldn't have known that those labs would one day be filled with hydroponic weed. The memo, which dated back to the Obama presidency, provided states with autonomy regarding the legalization of marijuana, and kept federal prosecutors at bay, for all but the most serious of marijuana-related crimes, such as drug trafficking across state lines or selling to minors. Of course, this is a wonderful clickbait headline, but when you actually read the article you find that he was referencing marijuana suppliers as typically being small businesses.