On January 5th, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the rescission of the Cole Memo which directed a hands-off approach to federal prosecutors for handling states with recreational and medical marijuana. With public support at an all-time high for both medical and recreational marijuana-nearly 60% and 71% respectively--Sessions’ decision is a rebuke to the will of the people and an affront to states’ rights. Everything seems to be in favor of regulated markets, i.e., popular opinion, economics, restorative justice, so you have to wonder why is Jeff Sessions so afraid of marijuana?
For starters, Jeff Sessions is widely quoted as believing that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” If that wasn’t bad enough, it is also reported that he once said the Klu Klux Klan was okay until he learned they smoked pot. Unfortunately, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks marijuana users belong to an underclass of people. Jeff Sessions’ ideas and information about marijuana are hopelessly outdated, yet I don’t feel that it is reefer in the traditional sense that he’s mad about.
Jeff Sessions is terrified that marijuana has gone too mainstream. He’s afraid of products like Medamints (marijuana mints) being in every corner store in the country. He’s afraid of shops like Lightshade becoming your friendly, neighborhood dispensary in every state. We all know he needs one, but he’s afraid of cannabis-infused massages being the next trend in home health care (thank you, Primal Therapeutics). A couple doobies burning down in the woods is one thing; if the feds aren’t around is it even a crime? What Jeff Sessions is cowering from is the inexorable popularity and growing economic prowess cannabis has taken on. Much like the banking system that was rescued by the Feds in 2008, marijuana is simply too big to fail.
Not only is marijuana mainstream, but it is expected to boost the U.S. economy with an expected 70 billion dollars of annual revenue and a quarter-million jobs by 2021. You see, Attorney General Sessions, we have a lot to fight for: our jobs, our well-being, our health, and billions and billions of dollars to go around. Like any industry that is a good steward of its communities, the cannabis industry is united in working with state legislatures across the country to create responsible, pro-consumer policies. Jeff Sessions can rant and rave and posture all he wants, but what he’s really doing is being a sore loser. Like Senator McCain told one of NORML's very own freedom fighters in Washington D.C. last September, we’re winning. And we won’t back down.
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