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  World   Americas  05 Jan 2018  Jeff Sessions wants tougher marijuana laws, all Republicans don’t

Jeff Sessions wants tougher marijuana laws, all Republicans don’t

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Jan 5, 2018, 6:39 pm IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2018, 6:39 pm IST

The move illustrates the growing presence of the industry both politically and economically.

 The legal pot business, has proved ‘job-creating, tourist-attracting, vote-getting success in certain states.’ (Photo: File/Representational)
  The legal pot business, has proved ‘job-creating, tourist-attracting, vote-getting success in certain states.’ (Photo: File/Representational)

Washington: Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind Obama-era conventions and to revive tough enforcement of marijuana laws triggered criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.

The move illustrates the growing presence of the industry both politically and economically.

 

The decision to roll back on weed comes amid controversies spiralling out of the Trump-Bannon row – a former top aide Trump has fallen out with, in lieu of the latter’s statements presented in Michael Wolff’s book on the US President.

The announcement has triggered “bipartisan resistance” while the White House still grappling with an Interior Department’s decision to open a significant amount of the nation’s coastline to new oil exploration.

“The new marijuana policy and the oil drilling effort could present political peril for Republicans in Colorado and states along both coasts in some of the same locales where resentment to the new tax plan has already surfaced. Politicians in both parties from Florida up the Eastern Seaboard have fought expanded oil exploration for decades, responding to strong public opinion in those states,” The New York Times reported.

 

Sessions who has long considered marijuana dangerous has not hesitated before in breaking away from opposing Republicans and has gone forth with decisions that lacked the party’s whole hearted support.

“I am obligated to the people of Colorado to take all steps necessary to protect the state of Colorado and their rights,” said Conservative Senator Cory Gardner said, who claimed that he had been assured by both Trump and Sessions that backtracking on marijuana would not be a focus of the administration.

The USD 1 billion worth legal pot business, which has been approved by Colorado voters, has proved “job-creating, tourist-attracting, vote-getting success in certain states.” As such, Sessions’ decision comes close to a federal assault on the growing industry.

 

Gardener was not the only unhappy Republican.

Leading Trump ally, Florida’s Matt Gaetz pointed out that the move would be detrimental to cancer patients. “Heartless and cold, and shows his desire to pursue an antiquated, disproven dogma instead of the will of the American people. He should focus his energies on prosecuting criminals, not patients,” Gaetz said after Sessions’ announcement.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska claimed to have repeatedly dissuaded Sessions from attacking marijuana. She called the action “regrettable and disruptive.”

Sessions’s decision to push back on weed comes as Nancy Pelosi of California allowed recreational marijuana to be sold in the state. “Yet again, Republicans expose their utter hypocrisy in paying lip service to states’ rights while trampling over laws they personally dislike,” she said.

 

She, along with Senator Patrick Leahy, are looking at pressuring Sessions from reversing President Obama’s policy to relegate marijuana prohibition as a priority for law enforcement.

Tags: jeff sessions, marijuana laws, republicans, donald trump
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington