Jeff Sessions re-declares war on pot

sessions maga

One way Sessions and Trump want to #MAGA: trample states’ rights and throw more people in jail over a plant.

On January 4, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, an Obama-era directive that recommended a hands-off approach to the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that legalized it for recreational or medicinal use. Prior to the Cole Memo, federal authorities clashed routinely with legal pot businesses, especially in states like California. The memo substantially slowed the prosecution of state-sanctioned pot growers, sellers, and users. In rescinding the memo, Sessions declared his intent to re-escalate the war on pot. Continue reading

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Ohio rejects historic marijuana legalization initiative

Medical marijuana growing at a facility in Denver. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Medical marijuana growing at a facility in Denver. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Citizens of Ohio overwhelmingly rejected Issue 3, a proposal that would have legalized marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. The results are a textbook example of the messiness that ensues when business, interest groups and government all get together in the legislative process. Squirrely as Issue 3 and its corollary, Issue 2, were, the state still missed an opportunity to set a historic precedent. Continue reading

DEA scandal reveals the failure of American hole-patching

Outgoing DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart, speaks at a conference.

Outgoing DEA Administrator, Michele Leonhart, speaks at a conference.

In May, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, will resign from her post amid allegations that agents participated in sex parties with prostitutes paid for by Colombian drug cartels. This is only the latest and raunchiest in a litany of alleged offenses committed by the agency during Leonhart’s reign, including bribery, prisoner abuse, withholding information in trials, excessive surveillance, and the shooting of children. As David Graham, who catalogued several such offenses in a recent Atlantic piece, put it, “It’s not that the outrage in this case is misplaced – it’s that it’s a day late and a trillion dollars short.” Continue reading