A federal crackdown on cannabis by Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department looks imminent at this point. A report from Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety will be coming out this Thursday. The Hill reports that advocates of criminal justice reform strongly fear that this report will attempt to link legal cannabis to crime, giving Sessions a reason to go after people using, growing, and selling legal cannabis.
Sessions wrote a memo back in April talking of the importance of making sure there was “consistency” in enforcement. “Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities.” It sure sounds like there’s going to be a federal crackdown on cannabis.
This week Sessions also reinstated asset forfeiture, an old drug war policy from the eighties that allows law enforcement to take your money, house, car, and other assets, even if you haven’t been convicted or charged with a crime. That’s right, Sessions just told the feds that they can legally steal from you if you are suspected of a crime. Local law enforcement already does this by seizing people’s cash while searching them, but now federal law enforcement like the DEA can do it.
Sessions is of course being met with resistance, even from local enforcement. “From a practitioner’s point of view, marijuana is not a drug that doesn’t have some danger to it, but it’s not the drug that’s driving violent crime in America,” Ronal Serpas former Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department and co chair of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration said to The Hill. “That’s not the drug with which we see so much death and destruction on the streets of America. Crack and powdered cocaine, heroin and opioids is where we’re seeing people die on street corners fighting over territory or control,” he continues.
This will be an interesting fight. Trump said during his campaign that he wanted to leave legalization up to the states. A federal crackdown on cannabis could anger his supporters and hurt his chances of being reelected in 2020. Trump and Sessions are not on the greatest of terms right now anyway because Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. Maybe he’ll end up firing him. We can only hope.
Source: The Hill
Image Source: Al Jazeera
Got anything you want to add? Do you think a crackdown on cannabis is coming? Share in the comments!