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Jeff Sessions’ war on Cannabis needs to end

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Greg Mariscal

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During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump stated he would keep marijuana legalization up to the states. On January 4, 2018, three days after California legalized recreational use of marijuana, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would be rescinding the Obama-era marijuana policy, known as the Cole Memorandum. The Cole Memorandum (or Cole Memo) does several major things for marijuana legalization. Not only does the policy protect the legal cannabis industry against federal enforcement, but it also regulates the cultivation, distribution, sale and possession of marijuana. The Cole Memo does not, however, remove marijuana from being a Schedule 1 drug despite the scientific evidence that states otherwise.

This also brings up another question. What about the states’ rights that conservatives hold so dearly? Since 2012 when Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, six other states have followed suit. Now, some conservatives like Jeff Sessions and Ann Coulter say states should not have the right to legalize marijuana, with Sessions saying “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and Coulter saying “Marijuana makes people retarded.” On January 4, 2018 Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), who opposed the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, threatened to block all justice department nominees because “We were told states’ rights would be protected.”

The fact is, marijuana is less harmful than the other drugs on the Schedule 1 list and should not be up there. Every year zero deaths occur from smoking too much cannabis, while an average of six people die everyday and 2,200 a year from alcohol poisoning. The Colorado Pot Guide says it would take 40,000 times the normal amount of cannabis to die. It is time for the war on cannabis to end.

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Jeff Sessions’ war on Cannabis needs to end