Perhaps in order to build a case to support a federal marijuana crackdown, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently published a memo indicating the formation of new task force that will review “marijuana enforcement” policies in an effort to combat violent crime.
The memo, which was sent to the offices of nearly 100 federal prosecutors and Justice Department heads, shows the task force will evaluate existing policies, including those pertaining to marijuana, issuing a full report on those matters by the end of July.
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What is concerning about the creation of this task force is that it consists of federal agencies that would like nothing more than to see the concept of legal weed wiped off the map. DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, Stacia Hylton, head of the U.S. Marshals Service, and FBI Director James Comey are all part of what could eventually become a demolition crew.
There is speculation that this review of the nation’s marijuana policies refers to the Obama Administration’s Cole Memo, which allows states to have legal weed without a certain level of federal interference. One of the problems is that this set of guidelines is really just a suggestion on dealing with what was once called “the Great Marijuana Experiment,” but it can be discontinued at any time. The other problem is Attorney General Sessions has come to believe that legal marijuana may be contributing a variety of issues currently plaguing the United States, including opioid abuse and violent crime.
“Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved,” Sessions said back in February.
Earlier this week, a group of governors from the first four states to legalize the leaf for recreational use sent a letter to Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asking them “to engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems.” The goal of the letter was to try and persuade the Justice Department to maintain the “hands off” approach to legal weed, the same as the previous administration.
“Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences,” the governors wrote. “Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states.”
Interestingly, while Sessions may use “violent crime” as an excuse to tear down the legal cannabis industry, some of the latest data proves this line of attack would be an enormous scam. Research shows that legal marijuana has not caused more violent crime, and that the cannabis industry has actually put a serious dent in the underhanded shenanigans associated with the black market.