Congressional Republicans will tell you that they opposed President Obama’s entire agenda for America since he first took office, but that was not necessarily the case.
The one issue many Republicans and President Obama agreed on was the legalization of marijuana.
Obama’s 2013 “Cole Memorandum” allowed states like Colorado to implement medical marijuana laws without federal government involvement, but now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been an opponent of legalizing marijuana since his days in the US Senate, has rescinded that the “unnecessary” measure.
Sessions action to leave it up to federal prosecutors to decide on whether to prosecute or not when federal drug laws and newly-minted state marijuana laws clash has left several members of congress crying foul.
One of Sessions former colleagues in the senate, Senator Cory Gardner (R), who represents Colorado, a state that has legalized recreational use of marijuana, says that he will fight the Justice Department’s change in policy.
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R), who without question has been one of the loudest proponents of legalizing marijuana, released a statement calling Sessions’ change of course, calling the move “disappointing and cruel.”
“Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would no longer follow the guidance of the Cole Memorandum — a long-established, common-sense guideline instructing the federal government to crack down on dangerous drug crimes, rather than harmless medical marijuana patients. This disappointing and cruel decision is a huge step backward for states’ rights, for common-sense reform, and for the American people.
I have seen children, in my district and nationwide, who have been helped by medical marijuana when all other treatments have failed. Has AG Sessions seen a child with juvenile epilepsy? Has he seen a child have a seizure? I have. I’ve seen tears stream down a mother’s face as she cradled her daughter in her arms, watching her little girl’s eyes roll back in her head, her skin turning blue from lack of oxygen. I’ve also seen this same little girl smiling and laughing, playing sports and having friends — her epilepsy made manageable by medical marijuana.
Attorney General Sessions thinks she’s a felon. I think she’s a hero.
Not only does AG Sessions’ decision hurt millions of patients and families nationwide, it is out of step with the will of the American people — over 90% of whom support doctor-prescribed medical marijuana. It even flies in the face of President Trump, who expressed his support for medical marijuana and state-level decision-making during his campaign. For AG Sessions to disregard the Cole Memorandum is 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.”–Rep. Matt Gaetz (R)
But legislators are not the only people who are expressing their frustration over the anti-legal marijuana measure taken up by the Department of Justice.
Surterra, a company that has “brought together industry leaders from medicine and cannabis research to discover and advance the natural therapeutic benefits of cannabis-based products and are providing cannabis products to qualified patients throughout the entire State of Florida,” has also expressed their dissatisfaction with Sessions, saying that it will be business as usual for them, and that they will “continue to cultivate and distribute medical cannabis” to Americans who have already benefited, or will benefit from the use of the drug.
“If anything, policymakers should seize this opportunity to bring forth legislation that legalizes marijuana and gives people that are using it medicinally security and safety standards for these products. There are countless anecdotes, and lots of viable research, that proves marijuana has medicinal benefits.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact that it is hugely popular, and much more so than the individual trying to prohibit it. Add to all that there are no documented cases of someone dying from marijuana, but almost 100 families in America lose a loved one because of opiates each and every day.
We need to stop allowing an 80-year-old propaganda campaign that has been perpetuated by pro-pharma special interests to continue and stop denying access to medicine derived from marijuana.” – Jake Bergmann, Medical Marijuana Founder and CEO