DOJ Will No Longer Investigate Police for Civil Rights Abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told his state counterparts that he is "dubious about marijuana", adding that he's unsure that "we're going to be a healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store".

"I think it's the wrong time to pull back from this experiment, and if the federal government's going to come and begin closing in and arresting people that are doing what's legal in different states, my god, it creates a level of conflict that's going to be very hard", Hickenlooper told MSNBC.

ME is one of eight states that has legalized recreational marijuana.

"I would just say, it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not", Sessions said. However, the Trump administration's stance could pose problems for an industry that had slowly emerged from its black-market past as states began to end prohibition.

Tougher enforcement of drug laws could be welcomed by some law enforcement officials, including Justice Department prosecutors who felt hamstrung in recent years in their ability to seek long sentences.

OK, fine, but then Spicer referenced an appropriations rider passed in 2014 to imply that Congress has already elevated the legal status of medical marijuana under federal law.

He did not mention any cities in his remarks, but President Donald Trump has consistently referred to Chicago as a "third world country" where people are "living in hell". (He was mistaken about the year the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment was enacted, but we'll let it slide.) What that rider did was forbid the DOJ from cracking down on state legal medical marijuana businesses through a defunding measure, but it did not actually do anything to differentiate medical from recreational marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.

Legalizing, regulating, and taxing the sale of marijuana is the surest way to remedying that exact tendency for pot commerce to trigger violent score-settling. A working group meets Tuesday to discuss implementing the legalization law.

"You have 800,000 police in America, imagine a city of 800,000 people", said Sessions. "You can't sue somebody for drug debt", he said. "There's a federal law that we need to abide by when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature". Experts on heroin use in the U.S. point out that the drug's skyrocketing popularity has been fueled by common availability of, and subsequent crackdown on, prescription drugs.

Cartels are thought to have expanded their reach in the heroin market to exploit the USA opioid epidemic and to make up for lost profits caused by marijuana legalization.

In Colorado, which was one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to establish a taxed and regulated pot market, the state saw more than $1 billion in overall sales a year ago.

Sessions will address the National Association of Attorneys General on Tuesday. "Give me a break", Sessions scoffed.

But left unsaid is whether Mr. Sessions also will direct the Justice Department to disrupt the legal marijuana industry - a move that critics say could undermine his goals and enable the cartels. I doubt it's true.

  • Rogelio Becker