So Attorney General Jeff Sessions (AKA the most powerful prosecutor in the US) sent a memo Thursday to all federal prosecutors telling them to ignore the Cole Memo. The Cole Memo was created under Obama’s administration and is what has protected states that are marijuana-legal from federal prosecution, since possession, distribution, growing, and usage is still illegal under federal law. Marijuana is categorized as a Schedule I drug. The criteria to be a Schedule 1 drug is that it has no medical benefits and basically only causes harm. Heroin, LSD, and ecstasy are all schedule 1 drugs. Jeff Sessions’ memo will allow federal prosecutors in states that ALREADY legalized marijuana to now prosecute marijuana users/ sellers/ growers/ and possibly prescribers as they would prosecute a heroin dealer or user. Currently, 8 states and Washington DC legalized recreational marijuana and 28 states have legalized medical marijuana.
So what is this little evil elf’s deal? Sessions has been anti-marijuana for his entire career and has voted to increase the penalties for drug offenses. He is of the school of thought that harsher punishments reduces crime. We know that this is not the case, and anyone who can look at the war on drugs from a macro, socieo-economic perspective knows this. Session also believes that marijuana is a gateway drug. When Sessions was appointed, I was sick to my stomach knowing that in his worm-chewed, dementia-slop-brain, he “believes” in this anachronistic, anti-research, god-fearing “logic”. OR… maybe he just chooses to believe it because it lines up nicely with his campaign contributors.
So the thing that is scarier to me than the actual Sessions Memo, is that his highest campaign contributors are the Koch Brothers and military defense contractors. What on earth does that have to do with reinstating antiquated marijuana laws, you ask? Well, Sessions is a supporter of private prisons and expanding the militarization of police officers. In case you forgot, last February Sessions’ overturned the DOJ’s position under Obama of no longer contracting with private prisons. This is some real shit, y’all. Oh, and you know the type of inmate private prisons house? FEDERAL INMATES. PRIVATE PRISONS WILL DIRECTLY PROFIT FROM THE SESSIONS MEMO. (watch out, y’all, because privatization of county prisons is becoming more and more common). Jesus Christ. Also, can I just say that the fact that this is this so transparent and yet there’s no public outrage may be the bigger issue than this article, but man oh man, are we looking at a potentially really dark, really scary Hellworld future (And this is coming from someone who has tried to stay positive about our current state of affairs).
Listen, I’m feeling a little lazy and I don’t feel like spending a few hours totaling all the contributions I can find that Koch Industries have given to Sessions, but in 2016 alone they gave him $40,000. How are the Koch brothers tied into enforcing anti-marijuana federal law? Not only do the Koch’s give money to politicians, but they also fund ALEC and sit on the board. ALEC is a group of corporations that get together, write bills that will directly profit them, and hands them over to their minions in congress to do their bidding. The Koch brothers have written and approved bills for congress (and passed by congress) to privatize prisons, to put more people in prison. Because private prisons can only profit if they’re full of inmates.
It’s not surprising that Trump also went back on his word about the Cole Memo. When Trump campaigned, he said he wouldn’t enforce the federal law, however he apparently changed his mind- Press Secretary Huckabee said today that Trump is completely for enforcing the federal law.
LUCKILY, many senators already have spoken up against Session’s memo, and they have a strong case. Plus, public opinion is pro-marijuana, currently 64% (!!) of American’s approve recreational marijuana. There are undoubtedly more pros than cons when it comes to legalized marijuana. The point of this article isn’t to list the benefits of legalized marijuana, but just real quick- my favorite point of legalization- it keeps people out of jail. Yes, yes, yes, we need to figure out how to combat the institutionalized racism that keeps people in jail for marijuana offenses, but that’s a different article.
How can we fight back? Stay woke. Look up who your federal attorney is. Write to their office, call their office, tell your friends and neighbors that this issue is bigger than just some stoners being paranoid that they feds are outside when they’re smoking a j.