On June 13th, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was initially scheduled to appear and speak at a US appropriations committee, but he couldn’t make it. He was otherwise occupied by dodging the questions asked of him by the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the accused collusion with Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. In his place stood Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who called the classification of marijuana as a Schedule One substance “proper” in an answer given to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski:
“We do have a conflict between federal law and the law in some states. It’s a difficult issue for parents like me, who have to provide guidance to our kids…. I’ve talked to Chuck Rosenberg, the administrator of the DEA, and we follow the law and the science. And from a legal and scientific perspective, marijuana is an unlawful drug. It’s properly scheduled under Schedule I. And therefore we have this conflict.”
The Department of Justice might have a fight on their hands if they concede to Jeff Sessions’ wishes to strip states of their rights to govern their own policies about marijuana. NORML policy director Justin Strekel is incensed by the anti-marijuana Trump administration, which is being led by individuals who are clearly blind to the scientific knowledge that supports the plant’s effectiveness as a medicine and its safety as a recreational substance.
Either they choose not to review the increasing amount of research, or they question the credibility of the researchers who are working so dutifully to present their findings to the public as well as government agencies.
“Should the Department of Justice decide to throw out the Tenth Amendment and respect for states’ rights as they govern their own intrastate commerce, they’re going to have a fight on their hands,” said the NORML director in opposition of the anti-marijuana rhetoric that seems to be pouring out of the Trump administration at breakneck speed.
NORML members have been reaching out to the Office of National Drug Control Policy via phone calls and emails to tell their stories of medical marijuana’s usefulness.
During his campaign, Trump had some positive things to say about medical cannabis, though he expressed strong disagreements with Colorado’s recreational marijuana program as well. Skeptics of the administration believe that the 45th president has been so engrossed in scandals since taking office, that the anti-pot zealot Jeff Sessions can essentially push his agenda unchecked.
Of this situation, Strekel speaks wisely about the overreach of government:
“We need to recognize that we have no legal protections from this administration — and if you have an administration that refuses to recognize a law authored by a co-equal branch of the government, you have a very dangerous situation.”
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