Opinion

Reefer madness: The foolhardy talk of war on drugs revival

English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס

English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the weekends, it’s nice to relax.

No matter how we do it—alone, with loved ones, as long as nobody gets hurt, who’s to say what’s right or wrong about the individual ways we get there?

Jeff Sessions has done the impossible.

He’s shifted attention away from President Trump in the past few days over his remarks concerning drugs and drug law enforcement at the federal level.

What’s lost in the bitter, negative reaction to his comments referencing Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” and the like, is the fact Sessions is not going after businesses that are acting within the law.

Doing so would be the act of a stupid individual. And while Jeff Sessions has been called a lot of things, no matter the number of outrageous statements attributed to him, one thing many of us can agree on at the end of the day is that he is indeed not a stupid man.

If he were, he would go after Colorado and all of its reefer smoking citizenry. But he’s not. Colorado didn’t screw it up. To the contrary, they were the model for the benefits, and more financially-impactive, the profits at the state level, that can be had through well-run, well-organized and well-legal marijuana.

No, Sessions, if he takes aim at all against anything marijuana-related, will be going after those individuals who are involved with mass distribution and production on other than legal levels.

We can be sure there are truly bigger fish to fry for the AG other than those businesses and consumers operating under legal cannabis provisions. Sessions will continue policy along the lines of the Cole Memo. There will perhaps be minor adjustments to it.

United States Senate election in Alabama, 1996

United States Senate election in Alabama, 1996 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing that is certain is due to limited federal resources, states will continue to be left to their own devices regarding everything and anything marijuana-related.

What that means to businesses in legal cannabis states is they should be able to continue doing what they do provided they observe the laws of the municipalities where they operate.

There are other ways to say it, but Sessions is not actually talking out of turn when he speaks about enforcement of federal drug laws at the state level. In addition to knowing that resources are limited for this endeavor, he also knows that coming down on marijuana in states where it is not yet legal, is still a play he can make.

Is it prohibitionist-era like policy if this is what occurs? Certainly. But a reasonable person understands that talking and actually acting in this capacity are two different things.

I understand the anxiety of business owners in the cannabis industry. In order for free market economics to optimally take hold, growth need not be impeded by perceived potential for law enforcement at the federal level.

Again, the likelihood of this happening is slim to none. Having said that, a wise person also understands that anything is possible.

The war on drugs was acknowledged as failed and basically dropped out of the popular lexicon more than 10 years ago.

I think Jeff Sessions’ remarks shook up a lot of people while simultaneously eroding his credibility. No one can take seriously the efficacy of a revived war on drugs.

As a result of the Attorney General’s recent words, and in order to be fully safe, recreational cannabis users would best be served to reside in states where marijuana consumption is legal. To live elsewhere, and to smoke pot, is to do so looking over one’s shoulder—all the time.

Having to do this does tend to take the “recreational” out of recreational cannabis use. That’s no way to relax.

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Categories: Opinion

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