U.S. Senators urge Sessions not to crack down on Recreational Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on March 07, 2017.

A group of eleven Senators from different States in the U.S. are urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to crack down on recreational marijuana legalization. In a letter delivered to Sessions on Thursday, they asked the Department of Justice to uphold the Obama administration’s policy allowing individual states to determine their own marijuana laws.

The letter comes on the heels of recent statements by Sessions and Trump Administration Press Secretary Sean Spicer regarding state’s recreational marijuana laws.

“It is essential that states that have implemented any type of practical, effective marijuana policy receive immediate assurance from the DOJ that it will respect the ability of states to enforce thoughtful, sensible drug policies in ways that do not threaten the public's health and safety,” the Senators wrote. “we request that state and local elected officials, and public health and safety officials, be afforded an opportunity to comment on any shift in policy from that expressed in the Cole Memorandum, to avoid disruption of existing regulation and enforcement efforts. We appreciate your immediate attention to this request.”

Only one Republican Senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, signed the letter, which is joined d by the Democratic lawmakers from all eight states that have so far legalized recreational marijuana, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Apart from eight states, the District of Columbia has legalized marijuana for recreational purpose, while marijuana is still illegal on a federal level.

Under President Barack Obama Administration, the Department of Justice left the enforcement of federal marijuana laws up to the states, allowing places like Colorado, Washington and Oregon to experiment with marijuana regulation for recreational purpose.

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