December 6, 2022

Jeff Sessions’ Thursday attack on legal marijuana just went up in smoke

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This morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department would be rolling back the Obama administration’s policy of tolerating legalized marijuana in the states which have chosen to do so.


The move is a shameless violation of the Republican Party’s ostensible support for “state’s rights” and is an obvious effort to not only punish left-leaning states like California and Oregon, the latter of which legalized recreational marijuana on New Year’s Day, but also a clear effort to expand the carceral state and target minorities for exploitation by private prisons.

However, the move backfired almost immediately.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, has declared that he will hold up the confirmation process for White House nominees to the Department of Justice unless Sessions reverses his course.

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The state of Colorado has received half a billion dollars in tax revenue since the state legalized the popular drug in 2014, which has been spent on funding public schools and drug rehabilitation programs. 

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President Trump said on the campaign trail that he believed the issue should be left up to the states, but it appears notorious white supremacist Jeff Sessions is loath to lose law enforcement’s primary justification for the mass incarceration and exploitation of minorities.

It is a rare sight indeed to see a Republican Senator standing up for the interests of their constituents, which makes it all the more commendable that Gardner is willing to not only stand up to the Trump administration but to threaten to take action.

The war on drugs has accomplished nothing but waste billions upon billions of tax dollars, devastate communities both in the United States and in South America, and lead to the deaths of countless people. It is beyond time that our legislators accept that harsh policing and prohibition doesn’t work.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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