Next week, the Task Force on Crime and Public Safety led by President Trump is expected to release a report linking cannabis in general to violent crimes. Activists fear that the report is going to snowball into tougher sentences on possession, growing and selling marijuana and a general medical marijuana crackdown.
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Particularly infuriating for those in favor of medical marijuana and state’s rights, is that if there are any violent crimes being committed over marijuana, they are most certainly fueled by federal illegality and states that still have prohibition. When something as innocuous and easily grown as a plant is made illegal, the black market is bound to be involved.
Back in April, Sessions sent a memo to update the DOJ and U.S. Attorney’s Offices on cannabis policies to be accomplished via a group of subcommittees. In said memo, he gave a July 27th deadline. Punitive policies will be under review along with strategy to get rid of the violent crime assumed to be found in the upcoming report.
If Sessions has successfully made a case for his favorite point: That marijuana is just as dangerous as heroin and causes violent crimes, the cannabis community faces real danger and violence from the government itself. No-knock raids have proven themselves deadly and too many lives have already been marred with prison time and estrangement from children and family.
Last week Sessions apparently also reinstated the criminal asset seizure program in anticipation of the Task Force’s findings. Even local law enforcement, who are aware of the potential new rules coming down the pike, are against their principles. Many cops have expressed that there is no need for this kind of crackdown and that there are much more dangerous, addictive and, yes, violence causing drugs out there to deal with.
The most violent a simple cannabis imbiber is likely to get is killing her bowl and mercilessly reaching for her next pinch of victims.
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On the bright side, a bipartisan group of Senators including NY (D) Cory Booker and KY (R) Rand Paul are pushing legislation to protect medical marijuana patients without fear of federal prosecution. They are all state rights proponents whose Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would change federal law to protect state rights even further.
Though on the campaign trail Trump said he would leave state rights alone when it came to cannabis, this impending crackdown is something he and Sessions agree on amid rising tensions. Though Trump flirted with firing Sessions for his Russian recusal, they seem to be on the same page with this newest rage of reefer madness.