AG Sessions Escalates Drug War with New Sentencing Rules

Nostalgia for the 1980s and ’90s is hot right now, and that retro fever seems to have afflicted AG Jeff Sessions, whose new sentencing memo initiates a throwback to the draconian law enforcement policies of the Reagan years of the Drug War.

In a memo released to federal prosecutors, Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened the door for prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” in federal drug cases, including those against low-level offenders.

While the memo does not explicitly mention cannabis, it signals a sharp escalation of an enforcement-focused approach to federal drug enforcement that, while not unexpected, is still sweeping in its scope and severity.

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After 3 Years, Feds Back to Tracking Cannabis Markets

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has decided to resume tracking the marijuana market in the United States, which in their eyes, is still illegal no matter what state you live in.

Up through 2014, SAMHSA tracked the marijuana market through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. It has been excluded from the survey for the past three years, but this year it’s back.

The survey’s marijuana marketplace module consists of a series of questions that seek to gather data such as the location, quantity, cost and type of marijuana being purchased across the nation. This year’s module will be unchanged from the version last included in 2014.

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Last Chance To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients and Providers From Jeff Sessions

Today is the final day that Congress has to pass a short-term budget to fund the federal government and it’s up to us to make sure that lawmakers reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. This critical amendment stops Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice from targeting state-sanctioned medical marijuana patients, growers, caregivers, and providers.

Click here now to tell your member of Congress to Stop Sessions from going after marijuana.

94% of US voters support legal access to medical marijuana. Congress needs to understand that this is a mandate that is non-negotiable.

Read more at NORML

How Trump’s War on Weed Could Start on Saturday (And Why It Probably Won’t)

The most important Congressional action on cannabis — ever — is set to expire this Friday at midnight; chances are, you won’t even notice.

Depending on who you ask, the next few Saturdays will see the cannabis industry waking up to just another day in Donald Trump’s America — or the beginning of the end.

Ongoing squabbles in Congress mean the country is veering towards a temporary shutdown of the federal government. Unless lawmakers can agree on a new federal spending bill, the nation will run out of money and the government will shut down: National parks will close, in-process government loans will be frozen, and all “nonessential” government employees will be sent home.

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Does Trump Even Have a Cannabis Policy? Signs Point to No

Initial cannabis industry responses to Trump’s election and subsequent promotion of avowed “drug warriors” ranged from cautious optimism to abject horror. But after repeated mixed signals and false starts on a potential federal cannabis crackdown, a new picture is emerging: the Trump administration may not have any official policy plans when it comes to cannabis.

Apart from using the power of his office to promote his own businesses and enrich his children — and delaying Twitter’s free-fall into cash-bleeding irrelevancy — President Donald Trump has had a hard time actually getting anything done. Whether this relative policy gridlock is the result of an inexperienced cabinet, a lack of organization or an internal mutiny is difficult to say, but the record speaks for itself: not much is getting done.

Even basic functions of office like presenting cogent (or at least consistent) messaging has proven difficult for the Trump team. On top of the almost daily scandals plaguing its communications department, the White House can’t even be sure where its own (presumably GPS-tracked, hopefully very hard to lose track of) ships at sea are located.

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Trump Should Abolish the Drug Czar’s Office

The Trump Administration is widely expected to pick Representative Tom Marino for Drug Czar.

Representative Marino is a longtime, rabid drug warrior who has a consistent record of voting against marijuana law reform legislation — a position that runs counter to that of the majority of voters and his own constituents. His appointment to this office highlights the fact that this administration remains committed to the failed 1980s ‘war on drugs’ playbook.

The Trump administration promised to eliminate bureaucratic waste. It should start by eliminating the office of the Drug Czar.

Read more at NORML

Sessions’ DOJ Reviewing Marijuana Enforcement, Governors Fight Back

This week, Attorney General Jeff “Marijuana Consumers Aren’t Good People” Sessions issued a memo outlining a requested task force inquiry into a number of public safety issues, one of which being the enforcement of federal marijuana laws.

The memo was sent to 94 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice component heads to provide “an update on the Department¹s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.”

The Attorney General announced the creation of Task Force subcommittees that will focus on a variety of issue areas including evaluating marijuana enforcement policy.

Read more at NORML

How A Trump Cannabis Crackdown Would Hurt Trump

With tension building around the conflict between federal and state laws on cannabis and the looming possibility of a federal crackdown, some analysts are exploring who would take the biggest fiscal and political hit and Trump isn’t getting skipped.

Donald Trump may want to think twice before allowing the country’s marijuana industry to fall victim to a Justice Department crackdown.

That promise to invest $1 trillion in rebuilding the country’s crumbling infrastructure? Aside from being rank nonsense — it’s really a package of tax cuts and other handouts to private enterprise — it would also require even more actual investment if the feds start clamping down on recreational cannabis, as various White House flacks have suggested.

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Spicer: ‘Greater Enforcement’ Coming from DOJ on Cannabis

There has been much speculation about what approach the Department of Justice will take when it comes to enforcement of federal cannabis laws. Now Press Secretary Michael Spicer has said that Americans should expect the DOJ to “enforce the laws on the books with regards to marijuana.”

White House Press Secretary Michael Spicer told a packed house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave today that he expects to see increased enforcement of federal marijuana law in places that now have recreational cannabis on the books.

Sessions was hit with this question from a Tennessee media outlet attending the press conference via satellite.  

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Congressional Cannabis Caucus Kicks Off

In the face of legal uncertainty surrounding the future of federal enforcement of drug laws in decriminalized states, four legislators in the House of Representatives have formed a bipartisan cannabis caucus to lobby against federal interference in state-legal cannabusiness.

A majority of Americans have access to some form of marijuana, supplied by a booming nationwide industry worth billions of dollars that supports more than a hundred thousand jobs. Now that industry has the representation in U.S. Congress to match, after four lawmakers from key marijuana-supporting states announced the launch of the “Cannabis Caucus” on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Founding member Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat who represents the Boulder area, told the Denver Post, “we’re really at the tipping point on marijuana reform,”

Read more at Cannabis Now