Jeff Sessions Can't Stop Hemp
On January 4, Attorney General Jeff Session went back on his own words during his confirmation hearing, going against both public opinion and science to reiterate his opposition to Marijuana. He reversed the “Cole Memo”, which set clear guidelines that respect State's Rights, to prioritize federal resources away from licensed business operating legally under state laws. Instead, Mr. Sessions shows he is against States Rights, and in favor of outdated and overbearing Federal policy.
States are a laboratory for democracy, and the laboratory is just where Cannabis should be. With more serious problems and priorities including opioid addiction, over-prescription of pain products, and meth, cannabis is actually an 'exit drug, helping addicts away from more harmful substances (including alcohol and tobacco). Instead of treating pain symptoms, cannabis also has unique healing properties, and is legal for medical use in 29 States for many conditions and illnesses, including cancer.
While thus backwards actiction deserves condemnation, it is not unexpected. “It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States...." and current Federal Law is so backwards and outdated that it still considers marijuana a Schedule I Drug, more addictive than cocaine, worse than heroin, and as psychoactive as LSD.
When we look at This another way, it is Jeff Session's way of encouraging his former Senate Colleagues, like Senator Cory Gardner, to pass actual Federal legislation to regulate Cannabis.
But this is not quite as bad as it sounds, and despite the seeming effects, is completely toothless. This only allows Attorney Generals to take action if they feel compelled, which is optional.
"In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis. Unlike others, we embrace, not fear, change," CA Atty. Gen Xavier Becerra said. "After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century. At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state's laws and protect our state's interests."
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted on Thursday: "Have no doubt — California will pursue all options to protect our reforms and rights."
This makes it clear that California plans to continue to grow , and 2018 will be their biggest year yet.
This gives us a clear vision - the amazing cannabis industry will continue to grow on the State level, while continued advocacy on the Federal level is still necessary. Also this presents a huge opportunity for industrial hemp, which remains as legal as it was last week under SEC 7606. Last year farmers grew over 24K acres of hemp, and this year that could more than double. More on that later