Battle for the Bud

Sessions calls for prosecution while bill seeks to protect medical marijuana

Never underestimate this administration's potential to surprise you. That's the lesson to take away from last week's revelation that, yes, Jeff Sessions does want to take your medical marijuana away from you.

Sessions is like your old, racist dog who got off his leash and made one last attempt at chasing cars. Like dogs and cars, medical marijuana is just something some people refuse to understand.

In a May letter published June 12, Sessions called upon congressional leaders to allow the use of Department of Justice resources to prosecute states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Sessions makes specific reference to the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, a "rider" attached to a larger spending bill in 2014 that restricted the Justice Department from going after states with medical marijuana.

Fueling the fire is a 2016 case from the administration's arch nemesis, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case extended the protections of the amendments to individuals operating under the law.

But that's not even the best part. Sessions also claims the ability to prosecute is imperative as the nation is firmly gripped by a new drug epidemic. Which epidemic is he referring to? Oh right, opioids. You know, the one that—as we've written about again and again—medical marijuana has been helping fight against.

Despite the obvious logical pitfalls of Sessions' argument, it doesn't much matter in a political climate where people blissfully ignore confirmation bias. All this administration has to do is speak something for it to become its constituents' truth.

But fear not; hope is not lost. On the other side of the battle, libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) reintroduced a bill to protect states with legal medical marijuana industries.

With a constant touting of bipartisan support, it seems like the bill may have a shot if representatives actually represent their constituents. Remember the Quinnipiac University poll that showed 94 percent of voters support medical marijuana?

Known as the CARERS Act, originally introduced two years ago, the bill would also remove cannabidiol from the federal definition of marijuana and allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana for veterans.

At this juncture of marijuana's trajectory, this bill is probably the most beneficial piece of legislation for which we can hope. Allowing for veterans to access medical marijuana would be a huge win for a community that has long professed the ability for marijuana to treat PTSD.

Co-sponsors include Sen. Corey Booker (D-New Jersey), Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-New York), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). That list alone demonstrates that this initiative transcends party lines and represents the will of the American people.

As of now, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana. Any significant action against the wave of legalization would represent a clear departure from the will of millions of Americans.

If President Donald Trump allows Sessions to continue his crusade against marijuana, against Trump's campaign promises, it'll be a clear indication that Trump doesn't care about America's agenda, only his own.

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