by Countable | 1.5.18
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday that he plans to end the policy that allowed states to relax restrictions on recreational pot without the threat of federal interference.
Politicians from across the political spectrum reacted with dismay to the decision, especially those representing states that legalized recreational or medicinal marijuana.
Washington Democratic governor Jay Inslee, whose constituents voted to legalize marijuana some five years ago, tweeted:
Make no mistake: As we have told the Department of Justice ever since I-502 was passed in 2012, we will vigorously defend our state’s laws against undue federal infringement. https://t.co/R3jJrncN9X pic.twitter.com/uM48hVH26q— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) January 4, 2018
Massachusetts Republican governor Charlie Baker, whose state is expected to open dispensaries later this year, said:
"The Baker-Polito Administration full supports the will of the voters and the [Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission]'s mission. The administration believes this is the wrong decision and will review any potential impacts from any policy changes by the local U.S. Attorney's Office."
Republican senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – whose state legalized recreational pot in 2015 – tweeted a statement that included:
"Over the past year I repeatedly discouraged Attorney General Sessions from taking this action and asked that he work with the states and Congress if he feels changes are necessary. Today's announcement is disruptive to state regulatory regimes and regrettable."
Republicans and Democrats in Colorado, which legalized recreational pot in 2014, took aim at Sessions.
Republican senator Cory Gardner blasted the AG in a series of tweets:
This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states.— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) January 4, 2018
Colorado Democratic state senators shared Gardner’s sentiments, though they were a bit more mellow:
We'll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands. https://t.co/LF0RpdCiHG— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) January 4, 2018
Instead of using taxpayer resources to go after a drug that's safer than alcohol, Jeff Sessions should focus on political corruption and white collar crime. Seems like there's plenty of that to go around in DC.— Colorado Senate Dems (@COSenDem) January 4, 2018
If only there was some way we could mellow him out 🤔
Oregon Democratic senator Ron Wyden – whose state legalized pot in 2014 – tweeted:
Trump promised to let states set marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. https://t.co/EhxfVdC3so— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) January 4, 2018
Nevada began selling recreational marijuana in July 2017. The state’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, released a statement saying:
"I believe Nevada's marijuana industry is a model for other states. My staff and I will review the memo that was released this morning and our state options. I look forward to the appointment of the new Nevada United States Attorney and further guidance that will be provided by the Department of Justice.
Recreational marijuana use became legal in California on Monday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who represents California’s 12th congressional district, tweeted:
Attorney General Sessions, your unjust war against Americans who legally use #marijuana is shameful & insults the democratic processes that played out in states across the country.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 4, 2018
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(Photo Credit: Tainar / iStock)
Written by Countable