It’s no secret that Attorney General Jeff Sessions isn’t a fan of cannabis. One of the first things he did as AG was appoint a task force that was meant to study the legalization of marijuana in states that have allowed for both medical and recreational usage in adults. It was thought that the task force would specifically look for any reason to suggest Sessions should crack down on the industry, but that hasn’t been the case. Recently, the recommendations made by the task force were unmasked to the public, and they were surprisingly level-headed. They suggested the compromise that allowed the states to experiment with legal cannabis markets should be maintained.
While many in the cannabis industry were both astonished and relieved that such recommendations were made by the task force, it might not matter at all. Sessions is still the last stop when it comes to a decision on whether or not to push forward with his crusade, and despite the fact that his task force was unable to unveil any reasoning behind such a crackdown, he may still target the movement with all his strength.
Under the Cole memo that was released by the Department of Justice during the Obama administration just after Colorado and Washington legalized recreational cannabis, the DoJ was instructed not to prosecute those following the regulations and laws set forth by their state systems. This still left cannabis classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, but it started the trend of balancing state’s rights with the federal laws that have yet to catch up with society.
However, it is possible that Sessions could leave the Cole memo intact while still cracking down on the legal industry. Sessions was quick to point out that the Cole memo still allows prosecution of such individuals it outlines even when they comply fully with state laws. The AG cited a number of unfounded reports as the basis for his prejudice, and even though states have shown over and over that the legal markets are beneficial, Sessions seems determined to disrupt the status quo. By citing these misleading stats, Sessions hopes to create a window through which he could claim the Cole memo had been violated, thus instigating the start of a prosecutorial crackdown.
A medical marijuana card allows patients within medical cannabis states to purchase and legally consume a certain amount of the plant, and those regulations have been stringently followed to prevent anyone else from purchasing the cannabis products. Patients must visit a marijuana doctor in order to receive a prescription for the substance, and once the doctor deems the therapy useful for the patient, the patient will receive a medical marijuana card that allows them to enter and legally purchase marijuana from a licensed dispensary.
Most states that allow for medical cannabis make it easy to obtain your card, and some even make it possible to get a medical marijuana card online. 420 Evaluations in Los Angeles is one such clinic, and patients are able to see a qualified marijuana doctor for a consultation. Despite the unfounded statistics issued by Sessions, cannabis is one of the safest substances that can be ingested, and it has the potential to provide beneficial effects even to those who only enjoy it recreationally. If you or someone you know needs the advice of an expert weed doctor, there’s no where else with the knowledge and kind nature of those at 420 Evaluations.
With all the harm Sessions could potentially do to the medical and recreational cannabis markets, it’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the damage that will be done by restoring the harmful black markets that the legal markets have started to quell. Since these markets have become legal in certain states, millions of dollars in tax revenues have been generated and thousands of jobs have been created. To put all that value and labor back into the black market would be a terrible blow to progress.
The task force that Sessions created has been giving him their updates on a regular basis as they receive and generate them, so Sessions should already have some idea that his tirade against cannabis isn’t going to be supported by many. Even with these positive reports from those directly beneath him, Sessions still seems determined to push his own private agenda. For now, the industry is still safe, and it should remain that way for quite some time even if Sessions announced a major crackdown today. Residents of medical marijuana states will still be able to get a medical marijuana card online by working with a qualified weed doctor, and those with medical cannabis cards will still be able to purchase marijuana safely within a dispensary under state law.
While the attitude from Sessions is a bit worrisome, the overall reaction from those around him shows that he is one of the last of a dying generation that automatically associated cannabis with negativity and crime. Sessions once supported the idea that cannabis dealers should be put to death, so it seems unlikely that he’ll cave to the ‘peer’ pressure of those who advise him not to push forward with his outdated modalities. It’s unfortunate that someone with views as backwards as Sessions was allowed to take the position of Attorney General in the first place, but it’s merely another in a long line of Trump appointments that have confused and even angered many, especially after Trump made comments in relative support of the legal and medical cannabis markets.
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