“By attacking the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly favor marijuana legalization, Jeff Sessions has shown a preference for allowing all commerce in marijuana to take place in the black market, which will inevitably bring the spike in violence he mistakenly attributes to marijuana itself. He is doing the bidding of an out-of-date law enforcement establishment that wants to wage a perpetual weed war and seize private citizens’ property in order to finance its backward ambitions,” Rohrabacher said.
California voters in 2016 overwhelmingly approved Proposition 64, which allows adults 21 and older to purchase marijuana for recreational use and grow up to six plants at home. California anticipates collecting $1 billion in tax revenue this year from cannabis.
The response came after Sessions issued a memorandum Thursday morning rescinding an Obama-era directive that allowed a fairly hands-off enforcement of federal laws that classify marijuana as a dangerous drug in states that have legalized cannabis. California is one of eight states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.
“We’ll continue to move forward with the state’s regulatory processes covering both medicinal and adult-use cannabis consistent with the will of California’s voters, while defending our state’s laws to the fullest extent,” Ajax said.
Outside of California, Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee held a press conference to announce that his state would defend its legalization of cannabis, and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said he’d suspend nominations of Justice Department officials unless Sessions steps down. Their states were the first to legalize recreational cannabis.
The Obama administration’s “previous issue of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal and federal enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions said in a statement, writing that his new guidance “directs all U.S. attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis and thwart violent crime across our country.”
Instead of going after drug cartels, and violent crime, and major traffickers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going after recreational marijuana users. That’s not being smart on crime.https://t.co/BNlcxbTT4v
Becerra, whose office filed 24 lawsuits against the Trump administration in 2017, wouldn’t say Thursday whether California is preparing a lawsuit or other legal action.
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.