PNC Bank Starts Closing Marijuana Accounts—Advocates Blame Sessions

Fearing that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make good on his threat to impose a crackdown on the legal cannabis trade, PNC Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, has decided to sever all ties with any organization connected to marijuana.

According to the Washington Post, PNC recently told national marijuana advocacy group, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), that it was permanently terminating its accounts because an internal audit showed the group distributes funds to assist in efforts to legalize marijuana.

‘‘They told me it is too risky. The bank can’t assume the risk,’’ said Nick Field, MPP’s chief operating officer.

Read more at High Times

Sessions Makes Bizarre Plea in Washington Post to Go Along with His Drug War

Oh, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, why do you say such things? Are you willfully ignorant or were you born in the wrong century?

Even with so much happening in and around the White House these days, there are a few things in your background that might shed light on your out of touch, fact-challenged, bigoted screed and they include: your white supremacist ties, racist and homophobic legislative voting record and a history of opposing voting rights, to highlights just a few.

And wasn’t there something about the KKK? One of the four lawyers who worked with our illustrious attorney general and former senator from Alabama said Sessions told him he thought the KKK was, “OK until I found out they smoked pot.” Surely you were joking, sir. No?

Read more at High Times

Trump and Sessions Need to Take a Deep Breath (and Perhaps Inhale) When It Comes to Pot Regulations

While there is much discussion and concern that the Trump administration will upset state law permitting medical and recreational marijuana use, there are numerous compelling arguments that any attempts can and should fail.

First, in December 2014, the United States Congress’ appropriations bill funding the federal government included the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which provides:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Read more at High Times

Does Jeff Sessions Have a Memory Problem? Maybe a Little THC Would Help

Recently we suggested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions might need a little toke to calm himself down before a committee of U.S. senators plied him with questions about Russia meddling in our elections and who was meeting which Russians when, where and why?

Now, it turns out, that the attorney general should have actually heeded our advice but for another reason: to help his failing memory.

Sessions would have done well to read Nature Medicine last month about the German scientists who found that aging mice treated with daily low doses of THC had experienced a reversal of cognitive decline.

Read more at High Times

Scientific American Takes Sessions to Task for Trying to Destroy MMJ Protections

The longest continuously published magazine in the United States has something to say to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Get with the program.

When Jeff Sessions’ letter to Congress urging it to help him roll back protections shielding medical marijuana was made public this week by Tom Angell of Mass Roots, Scientific American stepped up to the plate.

The 145-year-old authoritative science magazine called out Sessions on his absurd assertions that legal controls protecting MMJ jeopardize the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to combat the country’s “historic drug epidemic” and control dangerous drug traffickers.

Read more at High Times

Sessions’ Underling Hints at Federal Changes to Marijuana Policy

On Tuesday, while his boss was being interrogated by the Senate Intelligence Committee over his ties to Russian officials, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was answering questions in front of another panel of senators.

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered his interlocutors very little—he just couldn’t remember much of what the Democrats on the committee wanted to know, you see, but was happy to chat about spy novels with the avuncular Sen. Tom Cotton—Rosenstein, author of the memo that President Donald Trump used as justification to fire FBI chief James Comey, whose agency was investigating those same Russian ties, brought at least something concrete to the table: federal policy on marijuana policy is likely to change.

Probably! But he can’t (or won’t) say when, or to what. But watch this space.

Read more at High Times

Why Having Jeff Sessions Around May Be Good

Jeff Sessions is in serious trouble. Our affable attorney general with the antebellum values has been, ever since he took the oath of office. This realization is great news for anyone who cares about criminal justice, drug policy and the American republic—because it means that Jeff Sessions, Cotton Hill with a Cabinet position, can’t get anything done.

Sessions took over America’s federal law enforcement apparatus knowing that he’d had contact with Russian officials—and knowing that he neglected to share this fact with the U.S. Senate during his confirmation hearings, despite being asked directly. In some circles—legal ones, mostly, like the one in which Sessions’s Justice Department is supposed to operate—this is called perjury.

Perjury, as we oldest Millennials will recall, is one of the crimes for which Bill Clinton was impeached and eventually disbarred.

Read more at High Times

Casualties of War: How Prohibition Affects Education

The devastating impact of the War on Drugs extends to higher education, as students caught with pot face losing out on federal financial aid and often, consequently, on an education. Drug offenses are the only crimes that must be reported on federal student-aid applications, and that’s unlikely to change under a new administration laden with drug warriors.

Christy Billett could be the poster child for exposing the enduring perniciousness of the Drug War’s attack on American college students. Her story also stands as a stark warning about what many students may face under the Trump administration with an Education Department headed by Betsy DeVos and a Justice Department led by Jeff Sessions.

Back in 2000, Billett—then a working-class young woman of 18—was a few courses shy of completing her associate’s degree at DuBois Business College in rural Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where she was enrolled in a program that would have made her a medical-transcription administrator. But she found herself entrapped in a sting by a friend’s father, a man with cancer who had asked his son to find him a source of marijuana to ease his pain. Billett, who had some pot and occasionally sold some, offered to sell him two ounces, but it turned out he was setting her up. While closing the deal, Billett was arrested and, without an attorney, agreed to make a statement to police. She subsequently hired a lawyer who managed to get the court to change her plea to “no contest,” but the damage was done. A convicted drug felon under Pennsylvania law, when Billett filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January 2001 to cover her final semester’s tuition, she discovered that she was permanently banned from receiving any federal tuition grants or student loans.

Read more at High Times

Deputy AG: Marijuana is federally illegal and has no medical use

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was questioned about federal marijuana policy during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today and his responses were disconcerting to say the least.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) asked Rosenstein about the current tension between state and federal marijuana laws.

“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids… I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA and we follow the law and the science,” said Rosenstein, “And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”

Read more at NORML