In a letter sent to AG Sessions last week, Senators from across the country encourage Sessions to uphold the Cole Memo, which signifies a hands-off approach by the federal government on states’ marijuana laws. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Lisa Murkowski are the leaders of these demands. The mixed signals shown by the Trump administration prompted the letter.
The senators want a response from the Trump administration, according to Fox News. They want to know if the administration is going to enforce federal law or let states decide for themselves. Some senators believe that “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana regulations is an intrusion into state’s rights.
Part of the letter reads: “It is essential that states that have implemented any type of practical, effective marijuana policy receive immediate assurance from the [Department of Justice] that it will respect the ability of states to enforce thoughtful, sensible drug policies in ways that do not threaten the public’s health and safety.”
As AG Sessions continues to deny marijuana has medicinal value. He said, “Give me a break. This is the kind of argument that’s been made out there, just almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana, or even its benefits. I doubt that’s true. Maybe science will prove I’m wrong, but at this point in time you and I have a responsibility to use our best judgment.”
What’s sparking more controversy is that AG Sessions apparently gave reassurance, prior to being confirmed as Attorney General, to some GOP senators that the DOJ wouldn’t seek “greater enforcement” of recreational marijuana.
Senator Rand Paul said, “He told me he would have some respect for states’ rights on these things. And so I’ll be very unhappy if the federal government decides to go into Colorado and Washington and all of these places. And that’s not [what] my interpretation of my conversation with him was. That this wasn’t his intention.”