S-E readers react to Jeff Sessions' crackdown on marijuana

Friday , January 05, 2018 - 3:32 PM

CASIE FORBES, Standard-Examiner staff

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday, Jan. 4, the Justice Department would rescind an Obama administration-era memo that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug was legal. 

As of January, six states have legalized recreational marijuana — Oregon; Washington state; Colorado; Nevada; Alaska and, most recently, California — while Maine and Massachusetts wait for approved legalized recreational use to take effect. However, it is still illegal federally to possess, use, grow, buy and sell marijuana. 

In his own memo to U.S. Attorneys, Sessions encouraged prosecutors to disregard old guidance and use discretion in weighing whether charges are appropriate, taking into consideration the department’s resources, the seriousness of a crime and the deterrent effect they could impose, according to the Washington Post

RELATED: Sessions rescinds directive for feds to back off marijuana enforcement in states where it's legal

The Standard-Examiner asked its Facebook users if federal law enforcement officials should be able to interfere with marijuana sales in states where the drug is legal. In the unofficial poll, 72 users voted yes while 356 users voted no. 

Here is what some users had to say regarding Session’s announcement on Facebook. Comments are quoted verbatim. 

Rob Haynes: “People should urge Congress to act so that there are no federal laws to be violated. Laws restricting marijuana use should be repealed. That said, I don't want a government that selectively enforces laws, even in response to popular pressure. Selective application of the law diminishes the pressure that people would put on Congress to permanently take bad laws off the books. As well, it creates uncertainty, empowers bad leaders to act harmfully, and could lead to greater injustices than the mere, stable application of the law. Or better, than its repeal.”

DeeJay Homer: “Come on leftists: we either follow federal law (all of them) or we don't. You don't, or shouldn't, get to pick and choose. Lots of federal law I don't like. Can I start ignoring them?”

Robert Clements: “So much for states rights that President Trump said he would protect. So much for his promises. What will he do next?”

RELATED: Pot stocks plunge on report U.S. to rescind expansion policy

Jim Ellefson: “This will all get resolved before the next election. The national momentum is for legalization state after state. This wave can’t be stopped. Besides, there’s too much tax money to be made.”

Eladio Pauel Flores: “Majority of the country thinks cannabis is a good thing with over 90% believing medical cannabis is necessary, it only makes sense that Sessions would want to be allowed to indict these people federally.”

Charles Irvine replying to Eladio Pauel Flores:  “Thanks for confirming my suspicion Eladio Pauel Flores. Liberal news posting liberal polls. Fake as they were when they said Britton wouldn't leave the EU, and again when Hillary was announced the easy winner for President.”

Richard Shreeve: “Hmm, what was the policy that made it legal?”

Charles Irvine replying to Richard Shreeve: “Bingo, policy did not make it legal...It only made the current administration, Obama's, not persecute, aka follow the LAW.”

RELATED: Utah Gov: Medical marijuana will likely be legal someday

Kristopher Scott: “Remember this is 2018 when republicans say they are for states rights.”

Jay Hartwell: “Meanwhile, big pharmacy corporations—with the help of Hatch and Sessions’ Justice Department—are flooding the US with deadly opioids. Thanks Trump voters.”

David Raine: “Because Marijuana is sooo dangerous. Thanks a lot Jeff Sessions.... and thank you Trump for appointing him. With all the problems our nation is facing, stopping people from getting a little high is a major priority.”

Contact audience engagement reporter Casie Forbes at cforbes@standard.net or follow her on Twitter, @CasieAForbes, or on Facebook, Facebook.com/CasieAForbes. Call her at 801-625-4227.

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