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    Wednesday, May 23, 2018-1:45:05P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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OPINION: Sessions can’t un-ring states’ nor Guam and CNMI laws

THE first misgiving about the U.S. attorney general and the Department of Justice is that it is ONLY Sessions’ desire to stop the legalization of Cannabis which would be virtually like trying to “un-ring a bell” on legalization and anyone with common sense knows that no one can un-ring a bell. 

Sessions has taken it upon HIMSELF to try and go after states who have legalized marijuana by rescinding the Cole Memo issued under the Obama Administration that set a policy of federal noninterference with state-legal cannabis operations. Sessions move in rescinding the Memo doesn’t trigger any immediate legal action but it does show his intent. In Oakland, Harborside co-founder Steve DeAngelo, who in 2016 successfully fended off Federal Enforcement action said “I don’t think this is a big deal,” he told Leafly. “I think this is an attempt to suppress the growth of the industry, not to kill us. It is more of a delaying tactic than a knife to our throat.” For me, Sessions is just trying to please the conservative base for Trump – politics only! Furthermore on the political front: If Trumps truly wants to win in 2020 he can’t afford to let Sessions risk losing California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and Maine who have all legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. This is really a political ploy to keep the conservative base in-tact on the Legalization issue even though Sessions KNOWS none of these states are just going to lay down. Furthermore prosecutors aren’t going to use their state’s Federal Funding to prosecute marijuana businesses – it’s the old “political smoke & mirrors play” that amounts to NOTHING!

What happens next?

Most likely, nothing will happen immediately. While undoing the Cole memo opens the door to federal interference with state-legal cannabis programs, Sessions’ move itself doesn’t trigger any legal action. If there is any sort of crackdown, the first actions would likely come from individual US attorneys, who oversee federal prosecutions in their respective jurisdictions. Their offices could file civil or criminal actions against state-legal cannabis businesses (or their landlords) in an effort to shutter the businesses. But ultimately the Cole Memo is still intact as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed top prosecutors to use their discretion in deciding how to enforce the law.

While Massachusetts’ top federal prosecutor will not rule out prosecuting businesses dealing in marijuana as his state is scheduled to open dispensaries this year. But other State Governors and Legislatures have all vowed to fight a Federal Crackdown and defend their state’s Cannabis Businesses. Furthermore, presently there is NO funding in the Federal Budget for Federal Authorities to crackdown on states anyway and given what many members of Congress are saying they won’t be getting funding in the coming budget to crackdown on marijuana businesses making Sessions “wish” only a fallacy of his imagination as there won’t be any funding for Federal Officials to use in a crackdown on states. Prosecutors can file a case but they won’t be able to pay a Federal Workforce to do the Boots on the Ground Work needed to help in the actual prosecution - duh!

There will also be a great deal of political power aimed at stopping Sessions. Governor Jay Inslee and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, and other Washington State politicians are coming out swinging against the rescinding of the Cole memo and have vowed to FIGHT for their constituents! Cory Gardner, US Senator from Colorado said “This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation.” He went on to say President Donald Trump had it right – “this must be left up to the states.” Senator Gardner also attacked Sessions on the Senate Floor virtually calling him a person who LIES! Keith Ellison, US Representative for Minnesota: “The war on drugs didn’t stop drug usage; it just ruined a lot of lives. Jeff Sessions is reviving it because he believes in using the criminal justice system as an instrument of racial and economic control of poor people and brown people” – he is sooo RIGHT! Just FYI readers, the War on Drugs was really a War on Blacks in the Ghettos of America where drugs are sent from foreign countries as Blacks were “targeted to use and sell drugs” EVER SINCE! In fact, virtually no one in the Ghettos of America know any of these Cartels who smuggle drugs into America but yet they end up in the Ghetto. Sessions still wants to lock up Blacks who are using and selling marijuana as White People don’t ordinarily get stopped like Blacks for frivolous traffic violations just so the Police can search their car for drugs. Sessions wants to continue the disparity of Blacks in prison populations.

Too a large degree Sessions is really doing or should I say “faking” what Trump said about Legalization being left up to the states as Sessions is “leaving it up to the states’ own top prosecutor who must use his state’s budget to prosecute marijuana businesses” which ain’t going to happen as these Federal Prosecutors have far more important pressing and REAL crimes to fight with their budgets.

Sessions the man

First, I would encourage readers to Google Mrs. Coretta Scott King’s (Dr. King’s wife) letter opposing Sessions’ 1986 Federal Nomination to get a real idea of who the U.S. AG really is. He used his office to do all he could to prosecute and intimidate Blacks from voting and becoming a powerful voting-block in his state. It is also no secret that Sessions is opposed to cannabis. He ridiculed Pot use in medical treatment and even said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” duh and HELLER! He even claimed that cannabis could make the national opioid epidemic worse despite evidence that PROVES opioid use actually decreasing in legal states – for TRUE! He is our supreme protector of the law in America yet he is trying to destroy the laws of states but he can’t un-ring the legalization laws without the support of Congress because he needs the funding which is why he has put the earnest on the individual Federal Prosecutors to decide on prosecuting.

Heck, Sessions even lied to the U.S. Congress about his association with Russia just to get appointed and then tried to clean it up when he got caught by “recusing himself from anything that has to do with the Russian Investigation” — pure “collusion” that is not against the law but certainly NOT Ethical. I am still wondering how, in the-you-know-what, he even get to be our Top Federal Prosecutor. I have heard of people being “old-school” but for me Sessions is an ULTRA Conservative who is literally a dinosaur at the helm especially on the Legalization issue. I’m just glad we have a system of checks & balances to stop Sessions.

Conclusion

The CNMI and Guam should proceed “full-speed-ahead” with Legalization. I don’t know Guam’s status for starting up but it will take the CNMI a year or more just to get crops to supply our Dispensaries. Plus it is a Political FACT that Sessions nor the President really want to take on California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, Maine and not to mention the other 20 plus states that have legalized for Medical Use which would be a Political Deal Breaker for the Master of the Deal (“45”) literally. So like we say in the hood – “don’t believe the hype” of Sessions as he couldn’t stop Blacks from voting and he can’t un-ring the Legalization Bell in almost 40 of the 50 States! One people one direction for Legalization NOW!

The writer is a resident of Kagman, Saipan.