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Vermont and To Legalize Cannabis Despite Jeff Sessions

The United States cannabis legalization movement shows no signs of slowing. Vermont and New Jersey are set to legalize cannabis for adults this year despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ best efforts. At the beginning of the month, Sessions made headlines by putting cannabis legalization in danger by rescinding federal cannabis protections. These protections are colloquially known as the Cole Memo. The Cole memo was set up to keep state recreational cannabis industries culpable for black market activities involving legal cannabis products.

Sessions didn’t outwardly tell federal prosecutors to go after cannabis, but he did remove any restrictions if they choose to do so themselves. Chills traveled down the collective cannabis industries spine, wondering if a bustling billion dollar experiment was about to come to an end. Especially after California opened America’s largest recreational cannabis industry.

Several state governments have held firm in their defense of votes decisions to legalize cannabis. It didn’t take long for Washington and Colorado lawmakers like Cory Gardner, Jay Inslee, and Bob Ferguson to defend their states cannabis laws and encouraged the industry to resist and continue business as usual. Not only has the industry continued with business as usual, other states are still hopping on the cannabis legalization wagon.

Vermont is the first state to legalize cannabis through legislation, rather than leaving it up to voters. The bill was passed by the Vermont legislature last week and Gov. Phil Scott is expecting to sign into law. This would allow adults 21 and over to grow and possess small amounts of cannabis. There’s no talk of a regulated recreational industry at this time, but Vermont senators hope this is a step in that direction.

New Jersey is set to be the second state to legalize weed through the legislature after the inauguration of Gov. Phil Murray. Dubbed the “anti-Chris Christie,” Murray campaigned on promises to make cannabis legal and it doesn’t look like he’s wasting anytime keeping them. This bill could be signed as early as late-January and will allow adults to possess and grow small amounts of cannabis. The bill includes scaffolding for the potential recreational sale of cannabis starting in 2018.

Sessions might be an unlikely ALLY in the quest for full cannabis legalization. It’s apparent state governments would rather listen to the 60 percent of citizens who live in cannabis safe states; rather than help an old man impose his destructively dated moral code. At this stage, the cannabis industry is poised to change state and federal economies. Thousands of jobs will be created and billions of dollars in revenue will be made. Washington has generated over $2 billion dollars in cannabis revenue alone.

Sessions’ attack against legal weed is an attack on the economic growth of the states and the country.

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.

Jeff Sessions Calls For Federal Prosecution of Cannabis Activity

Trump’s stance during the 2017 election was to leave the states alone when it came to marijuana prosecution, a decision that held with President Obama and Attorney General Holder-era recommendations.

“I’m a states person, I think it should be up to the states,” Trump said.

Trump has been silent since Sessions rescinded the Cole memo on Jan. 4. Trump hasn’t reigned in Session who’s been attacking cannabis since he took his attorney general position. Trump has not kept to his word on many things since he was elected, and the states cannabis rights is another entry on that ever-growing list of lies.

Sessions is putting the entire legal cannabis industry in jeopardy after certain members of the GOP went after medical marijuana protections last month. Sessions wrote a letter to all state attorney generals stating the Cole Memorandum (Cole memo) is to be rescinded immediately and adherence to the Controlled Substance Act is recommended. This means that Obama-era polices of noninterference pertaining to states marijuana laws are no longer in place.

The Cole memo is the document drafted by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole that was the binding set of regulations states recreational cannabis laws we’re to obey. As long as states were in 100 percent compliance with these laws, federal prosecutors would abstain from inference of cannabis related activities.

States like Colorado have shown how serious they are about following the Cole memo’s rules. Last month the state raided 13 recreational dispensaries for state law violations. Colorado did this on its own accord with no prompting or help from DEA or any other federal agencies.

Sessions didn’t outright tell federal prosecutors to go after cannabis businesses, but he removed the  leashes if any decide to do so themselves. In his letter Sessions mentions the finite resources they’re managing to prosecute marijuana cases, but to uphold federal law which still labels cannabis as a schedule-one drug. U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling of Massachusetts said his office would aggressively pursue cannabis related crimes but the states recreational marijuana law isn’t be addressed at this time.

While Lelling seems to be lock-step with Sessions assessment that this is a “return to law,” most-everyone else seems to be unanimously against the move and are standing against Sessions and defending the Cole memo. Washington Governor Jay Inslee suggested the public stand firm and resist while Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said “we’re not messing around” in regards defending the Washington’s cannabis industry.

In Washington consumers have purchased $2.48 billion in cannabis, paid $223 million in sales tax $682 million in marijuana tax. That’s almost a $1 billion budget for Washington to fight Sessions decision. These numbers are as of Oct. 2017, according to 502data.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer of the District of Colorado, Republican Senator Cory Gardner, Lt. Governor of California Gavin Newsome  and the Koch brothers are just some of the law makers and policy influencers that disagree with Sessions attack on the cannabis industry.

It’s well known that the war on drugs perpetuates racial stereotypes dealing with drug use and disproportionately effects black and brown neighborhoods, systematically ruining thousands of peoples lives. For Sessions to restart a drug war that’s wasted billions of tax dollars with no positive impact to show for it; is downright insulting to the critically thinking voters of this country. The majority of whom at minimum support medical cannabis if not complete legalization.

Cannabis needs to be further researched to fully understand its benefits and detriments, but it’s unanimously agreed that it’s safer than opioids, which is plaguing out country. It’s also safer than alcohol and tobacco; both are legal and regulated by the government despite having no medical usage whatsoever.

GreenRush Cannabis is a WA i502 producer-processor located in the scenic Snohomish Valley. We produce a clean, sophisticated crop that has become a preferred brand for a number of top shops in Washington state known for our consistent terpene flavor, high quality, and deep impact.