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Eric Holder Claims Jeff Sessions Has an ‘Almost Obsession’ with Weed
Author: Sara Brittany Somerset 10/10/2017 - 20:13:00

It goes without saying that current Attorney General Jeff Sessions is not an advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana; however, previous Attorney General Eric Holder—who enabled states to regulate recreational marijuana sales in violation of federal law—said today that Sessions has an “almost obsession with marijuana.” 

Jeff Sessions’ Almost Obsession with Weed 

While speaking before federal, state and local law enforcement about his plan to halt the flow of illegal drugs across the country and how to address the nation’s opioid crisis, Sessions expressed stupefaction at suggestions that medical marijuana might curb opioid addiction. 

“I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crises by legalizing marijuana,” he said. “So people can trade one life wrecking dependency for another that is only slightly less awful. I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use.” 

It is easy to understand why both gentlemen, who have inhabited the same role, have opposing viewpoints. And it’s not surprising that another initiative enacted by the Obama administration is being targeted for undoing by the Trump administration.

Holder, who was attorney general during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2015, presided over a Justice Department decision which allowed individual states to regulate recreational marijuana sales, in violation of federal law, as long as more incriminating law enforcement priorities (e.g., sales to minors, trafficking, cultivation on public lands, etc.) weren’t enacted.

Holder said the Justice Department was correct to allow states to regulate recreational marijuana sales.

“I think that was a really good policy,” Holder said. “Sessions’ almost obsession with marijuana, I think is the thing that’s put the Justice Department in this strange place.”

Sessions—who often publicly criticizes marijuana use and legalization–and his department are reviewing whether to revise or more strictly enforce the 2013 Cole Memo that outlined priorities for federal law enforcement.

Holder’s Comments About Sessions

Holder, speaking at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Smart On Crime Innovations Conference, said Sessions’ hostility toward marijuana reform, occurring simultaneously with a seemingly supportive stance on state autonomy, appeared to be a source of tension for the government.

For the past three years, Congress has repeatedly passed spending bills that protect states’ medical marijuana programs from federal prosecutors and drug enforcement agents. The budget’s protections for medical marijuana were recently extended until December.

However, lawmakers have never passed similar protections for recreational marijuana markets.

Holder added, “I think the policy we had in place was a good one: Let the states experiment with the notion that again we have these eight or nine federal factors and if you trigger one of these eight or nine factors the feds are going to be coming in.”

The former attorney general’s remarks were met with derision from the founder of Marijuana Majority, activist Tom Angell, who watched him speak online.

“While I appreciate that Holder endorsed rescheduling after leaving office, it’s more than a little annoying that he didn’t do anything about it while he had the power to change cannabis’s federal classification,” Angell told High Times. “In that context, his comments about the current attorney general’s marijuana policies are pretty rich.”

Agnell is referring to a policy change that would have opened the door to marijuana being prescribed legally and eased constraints on medical marijuana research.

The post Eric Holder Claims Jeff Sessions Has an ‘Almost Obsession’ with Weed appeared first on High Times.

Original article from hightimes.com:Eric Holder Claims Jeff Sessions Has an ‘Almost Obsession’ with Weed


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