Don’t let Sessions harsh your buzz

Attorney General J. Beauregard Sessions made a splashy announcement today that many have worried might undermine the emerging marijuana industry. Like most Trump administration moves, it’s theater aimed at the dumbest corners of the GOP base. It’s likely to be forgotten by tomorrow, with no impact on the business.

Sessions is rescinding the Cole Memorandum, guidance issued to Asst. AG’s in 2011 discouraging federal drug prosecutions where a conflict existed between state and federal drug laws. Removing the instructions changes nothing in practical terms. The Obama Administration lacked the authority to tell federal prosecutors how to enforce the law. The memo merely let prosecutors know how efforts to prosecute state-legal marijuana operations would be received by the administration. They could still do it, but they’d be kissing off any chance of promotion or nomination to the bench. Thing is, even without that guidance and regardless of what the administration says, prosecutors know that pursuing marijuana producers is very bad for their careers.

Federal prosecutions against state-legal marijuana producers were already fading away before Cole. We were reaching the point where juries couldn’t be bothered to care about these activities and politicians were intervening with more and more force to thwart federal prosecutors. There are still a handful of cases pending against against state-legal marijuana growers, but they are in late stages of collapse. The case against Charles Lynch is probably the most egregious and absurd, a leftover Bush Administration mistake that hasn’t yet been resolved. A few people remain in jail, though Obama pardons reduced that number significantly. The Cole Memo aside, Congress in 2014 stepped in to deny funding for prosecutions of state-legal drug activities. The 9th Circuit has already cited this ban, commonly referred to as the Rohrbacher-Farr Amendment, as grounds to vacate convictions.

For those worried about the future of this industry there is a direct historical parallel. Fifteen years ago Bush’s AG, John Ashcroft, had a serious hard-on for porn. His campaign went flaccid for reasons that reflect conditions in the marijuana business today. Public hysteria had died down. The administration’s efforts looked pathetic and icky. Like marijuana today, porn by then was broadly seen as a harmless choice affecting only consenting adults. A wave of raids in ’02-’03 teased Republicans’ Christianist base, then faded as court cases flopped. The Bush Administration’s war on porn netted one or two sustained convictions and had no impact whatsoever on a booming industry.

If the Idiocrats in the Trump administration wanted to dent the marijuana business, it would take a carefully planned campaign, coordinated with sympathetic state level officials and executed with great care and discretion. That’s not how these people operate. Relax. This is one Trump mistake that’s unlikely to ruin any lives.

68 Comments

      1. I’m pretty convinced that Graham and Grassley have been compromised in some way.

        You may recall that both Grassley and Feinstein had emerged, ashen-faced, from a classified briefing by FBI director Comey early last year. During it, Comey revealed what he then knew about the newly elected President Trump. So Grassley already knew Trump was suspect and continued the investigation of Trump with Feinstein. Fusion presumably confirmed with they’d heard in greater detail. So why the about-face by Grassley (and Graham)?

        Well, it turns out Steel may have uncovered not only Russian shenanigans by Trump but stumbled across deep involvement in Russian nogoodnik laundering and other activity by high-level mainstream Republican operatives (such as Dick Cheney associates).

        Shit may be deeper and messier than the party is willing to admit.

  1. Off topic but decidedly important, a health care blog I follow reports the following:

    “With the prospect of actual nuclear war breaking out between North Korea and the United States seeming ever more real, the CDC is moving to prepare health professionals and others on what the public health response would be to a nuclear detonation.

    The CDC announced it is staging a grand rounds — a teaching session — on the topic. The target audience: doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, pharmacists, veterinarians, certified health education specialists, laboratory scientists, and others. The event will be held Jan. 16.”

    All I can think of are all the people who are sick with the flu, pneumonia and other life-threatening illnesses who this targeted medical group should be caring for, but they will be in a nuclear detonation.

    https://www.statnews.com/2018/01/04/cdc-nuclear-war-grand-rounds/?

    1. Mary, two things about this:

      1. I commented in the OffTopic forums about this already. The hysteria about a nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland is ridiculous. The technical chances of a North Korean nuke making it to mainland are lower than Scarlett Johansson rescinding that restraining order and knocking on my door. Now, radiation fallout from american nukes drifting over the Pacific, that is another matter.

      2. If there was ever a reason to decapitate this regime, I would say this is a pretty good one.

      1. There are certainly those who’ve hyped this situation beyond necessity, but it borders on dangerous arrogance to sound so assured of the mainland’s safety.

        Few things motivate better than existential threats, and the Dotard-in-Chief has dealt those out to N. Korea in spades. Kim Jong Un already believed that nuclear power was his best bet in expanding his regime’s power and recognition, and Trump has only deepened that belief. If there was even a 1% chance that Kim believed he could grasp the power to strike the United States with a nuke, he’d go after it like a kid on Christmas morning.

        None of that is to say we should overreact, but I do humbly submit that we should treat this with the seriousness as if they already had that capability. I’d rather have overestimated the situation and been wrong than to have underestimated it and paid dearly.

      2. Sorry Ryan, but you are wrong. Have a look at my OffTopic post from a few weeks ago.

        Technically, North Korea has neither the heat shield technology nor the nuclear warhead miniaturization technology to get a nuke mounted on a missile across the Pacific intact, yet. I say yet, because they will most certainly learn it.

        But let’s assume they do have the tech. Let’s also assume that they have been magically able to test a miniaturized nuke on a missile, without anyone noticing.
        But still, there is 0% chance, I say ZERO % chance, that North Korea would pre-emptively launch. Kim is evil, paranoid, and very likely insane. But he is not stupid. He knows that launching a missile at anyone would result in his country and himself being destroyed. There is nothing to be gained by launching, and everything to lose. But Kim would most certainly launch a nuclear attack in retaliation for massive conventional attack on NK, or a nuclear strike. Just like NATO has plans to use battlefield nukes if the Russians used their massive armor advantage against NATO in Europe.

        A single nuke, or even a couple, controlled by a sovereign nation, is not an offensive weapon against a large land mass like the U.S. (any number of ME countries wiping out Israel with a couple nukes is another matter). A nuclear arsenal of small size is strictly a defensive weapon. There is a reason that no nuclear armed country has ever been invaded.

        Now, for the reasons I posted weeks ago Offtopic, the madman in the Oval Office, he WOULD pre-emptively launch. The results of that are obviously catastrophic. In a retaliatory strike U.S. assets could, and would, be targeted, but still not the mainland. KIm would play the safe odds with his extremely limited nuclear arsenal. He would attack targets far closer than California, let alone Washington.

        The U.S. faces a much larger threat from Pakistani nukes than North Korean nukes. It is unlikely, but entirely possible, that the puppet tyrant and his regime could so undermine the pro-U.S. gov’t in Pakistan that it falls and an anti-U.S. group takes over. Imagine what happens in the chaos of such an event and Pakistani nukes are “stolen” by Islamic fanatics.

        And I won’t even begin to discuss the ABM tech being developed and tested.

        So the idea of NK launching a pre-emptive attack is laughable. And the idea that North Korea can even get a missile launched in retaliation near the U.S mainland is simply not credible, at the moment. Now Japan, South Korea, Guam, Alaska, Hawaii, they are viable targets. Canada is in trouble too, as any missile launched at the U.S. mainland would far more likely break up over Canada.

        You want to have the same conversation 18-24 months from now, then things may be far different. But by then, sites like this will be gone due to the loss of net neutrality.

      3. With all due respect, Dinsdale, you essentially endorsed the heart of what I was saying. My point was nothing more or less than to act with the seriousness as if Kim already had the capability to strike the US (not that he actually does, as you correctly stated). As you said you believe that N. Korea will almost certainly acquire the necessary technology in a comparatively short time, we would seem to be in agreement on this:

        Technically, North Korea has neither the heat shield technology nor the nuclear warhead miniaturization technology to get a nuke mounted on a missile across the Pacific intact, yet. I say yet, because they will most certainly learn it.

        That aside, and to clear up any potential misunderstandings, I did *not* mean any of what I said as a endorsement of a preemptive strike against N. Korea or anything even remotely similar. If that was my intent, I’d have been unequivocally clear and vocal about it.

        To say it as clearly as I know how, all I mean is that we should go at this situation with a mindset of the utmost care and caution, as if we were already on the brink of a nuclear conflict, not to act as if we *already are*. We mustn’t give into a presumption of arrogance that tells us that anything is 100% safe, regardless of the overwhelming conditions and circumstances that give us a sense of security, at least for the moment.

      4. Ryan, sorry if I came across heavy handed there. That was not my intent. I guess what I am saying is given the size of the Russian and Chinese arsenals, plus the always tense border situations between India and China, and India and Pakistan, I think the planet is at far more risk of nuclear fallout and even direct strikes from those nations.

        If the CDC is going to give in to the hysteria and wants to prep medical people for radiation sickness over working on basic health issues, I at least want them to be clear to the public on where the nuclear threats really lie. North Korea is not on the list.

        Now, if the puppet tyrant actually nukes North Korea, and the fallout starts drifting over any number of Chinese cities that border NK, or over Russia’s main Pacific military complex in Vladivostok, I would say that will have far more consequences for the planet than anything else.

        I am betting that the Chinese and Russians have already told the the U.S. in no uncertain terms that a nuclear strike against North Korea is off the table.

        Last point on this: Until the U.S. starts moving non-essential people out of South Korea and Japan, there is no reason for alarm.

  2. North Carolina has been officially classified as being alongside authoritarian states and pseudo democracies like Indonesia, Sierra Leone, and *Cuba*.

    http://amp.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article122593759.html?__twitter_impression=true

    Honestly, I keep trying to sort out my feelings on this, and the words just won’t come to me. Even in the Trump Era, seeing one of our own states act so regressively so as to not even be worth being called a democracy anymore is particularly disheartening.

    1. If the “first step to recovery is self-awareness”, it is going to be a long, long slog. The continuing debacle in VA adds more East Coast malignancy….It must be a matter of proximity…or, maybe the water?

      There are no words to describe adequately what is happening….only deep concern.

    2. Not so fast, NC, say the judges….”All three judges agreed the “invidious partisanship” in the plan violated the Constitution’s equal protection provision and direction to the state to hold congressional elections because it took the power to elect their representatives away from the people.”

      If it weren’t for the fragile judicial line from our courts, this past year would have been so much worse! Now it’s SCOTUS’ turn with the WI gerrymandering case.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/judges-north-carolina-must-redraw-gops-gerrymandered-map/2018/01/09/3a881ee6-f59a-11e7-9af7-a50bc3300042_story.html?utm_term=.52f88e995f04&wpisrc=al_news__alert-politics–alert-national&wpmk=1

  3. Off topic I know, but a question keeps bouncing around in my head. Is the apparent demise of bannon a good thing or bad thing?

    From my first glance, a weakening of the fascist/ racist / isolationist movement is always a good thing. But ultimately, will the weakening of bannon and his crew not mean we will see more “establishment” repubs winning their primaries, and those having much stronger chances against the dems? From my point of view, the dems had better chances of winning seats against outright lunatics, as opposed to the insidious bunch cut from the ryan/mcconnell cloth.

    That “establishment” repubs have made it clear that they will continue to support the puppet tyrant, all the way down the line. So the more I think about it, the more I see bannon being tossed to the wayside is not a good thing for the 2018 midterms, from the democrats’ view. It may avoid a civil war, but it will entrench even further the current regime in the longer term.

    1. I concur, but I also think there has been a decided shift in the Bannon/Trump relationship. Trump sees that he doesn’t “need” Bannon; Bannon needs him. This strengthens T’s sense of perceived power and entitlement based upon what he perceives as his earned successess, and it makes him more independent of the GOP and more likely to take even greater risks. Trump has become the indisputable leader of the Republican Party and the party’s benefactors. They may despise him personally but they are all falling in line. What is unclear to me is how Trump will handle this role….Will it be his unravelling? Will he think he can rule the world? Will he try? I believe events now will become more difficult for Mueller to stay on and the descent of our institutions more imperiled.

      Yes, I do think this will make it more challenging for Dems in mid-terms but only because the Republican Party has completely capitulated to Trump as leader when they clearly know “the emperor has no clothes”. Desperation breeds strange consequences…Democrats are going to have to put it all on the line.

    2. I’m going to disagree. It’s akin to the Roy Moore situation- sure having him in the Senate gets those campaign ads rewriting themselves, but it’s not worth the damage of having him in the Senate. Having Bannon weakened is good. Now given how often Donny2Scoops changes his mind/reverses his opinion/ forgets what he said/ retcons the narrative, Bannon could be back in his good graces next month. But his ex-sugar momma R. Mercer will probably be harder to persuade. Let him spend his time begging and groveling and pleading for forgiveness- it’s less time spend supporting the RWNJs he’s already recruited.

    3. Great commentary about how and why the GOP has “sold out” to Trump. Sounds down-right Chris Laddian! New Republic looking over your shoulder, Chris?

      “In deciding to govern as a mainstream Republican, Trump has received not just the support of the Republican Party, but its protection from congressional investigation. As Frum wrote, “We have gotten used to the president’s party in Congress sabotaging and discrediting the investigation into foreign manipulation of the U.S. presidential election.” Trump and the Republican Party have a de facto bargain: He gives party leaders control over the agenda, and they tolerate and defend him from accusations of corruption and collusion with Russia.”

      “If Trump’s personality cult has merged with the Republican Party, then the only effective anti-Trump movement will be among partisan Democrats, who vote not just to stop the president but also the party that enable him. There are plenty of signs, based on the healthy number of candidates running, that the anti-Trump resistance is now focused on defeating the Republicans in this year’s midterm elections.”

      https://newrepublic.com/article/146555/republicans-killed-anti-trumpism

  4. I have a MAJOR problem with the actions of the Keebler Elf on this matter. I support allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes but I oppose for recreational use. That said, I also believe that each state & territory has the right to decide this matter on their own. Let Alabama be Alabama, and let California be California. I think New York has a good policy on medical marijuana. Sessions is violating the principle of state sovereignty. It seems that conservatives no longer care about upholding state sovereignty, many Republican dominated states refuse to accept same sex marriage licenses from other states … while simultaneously we have a Republican controlled Congress passing bills REQUIRING states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states regardless of that states standards (or lax thereof). Huh? The hypocrisy is stunning. I guess Republicans only care about state sovereignty when it’s about letting them infringe upon the fundamental rights of minorities, non-Christians, and LGBT citizens.

    1. lack thereof … sorry folks, this issue gets me fired up big time. I support the Second Amendment but the idea of say Florida imposing their will on New York is infuriating. Owning and carrying a gun is a big responsibly and one should have to meet standards beyond being able to breath in order to do so. Too many states hand out guns like candy on Halloween.

      1. The Economist looks at the issue of “statism”….and finds opportunity as long as both parties abide by the rules….Of importance is the finding that states are often the best incubators of creative solutions to problems and are copied by other states who find their solutions worthy. Although I do not agree with some of the positions expressed in the article, particularly because Republicans have so egregiously and hypocritically abused the concept of states rights in order to further their own goals, it is a discussion we need to have.

        https://medium.com/@the_economist/in-praise-of-state-ism-6382783ffd59

      2. Historically, statism has been a good thing in the U.S. system, in that it allows the states to experiment with programs that can then be adopted nationally. Obamacare is the latest example of that. However, the GOP has become so ideologically driven and totally unwilling to compromise that no longer works. Again Obamacare is an example. The GOP was not willing to compromise and was totally opposed that there were several problems with Obamacare.

        Changing the subject. My life partner suffered a burst brain aneurysm on Friday. Her prognosis is good, she is recovering well and we hope for a full recovery, but my posts will be quite limited in the near future.

      3. TM , I am so sorry to learn of your partner’s health problem. That must have been extremely frightening. Thank goodness for her progress. We will look forward to your posts when you can but your attention must be on helping her heal.

    1. Hi Clint! I’m so happy you’re still following the blog….even with lots of interesting posts and great commentators, I miss your contributions. So many of the old regulars “Sassy”, John Gault, EJ, Rob Ambrose, and others have faded away but hopefully are still regular readers.

      After reading some of T’s tweets about “how smart he is” I think we may all get on the pot train! Keep in touch when you can and let us know how things are going for you and your family.

  5. When you govern by scattershot, consequences are equally disruptive….Keep it up, Trump! These actions (and so many, many others) will either force the Republicans in Congress to govern and put the brakes on these off the wall legislative and regulatory measures….or, not. Mid-terms are coming and god help us if the people of America don’t turn out in droves to stop this madness!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2018/01/05/daily-202-trump-administration-angers-vulnerable-republicans-with-offshore-drilling-expansion-and-marijuana-crackdown/5a4e9f3430fb0469e883ff27/?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_daily202

    1. No R who is currently up for re-election has demonstrated to me that he/she would act as a check/balance against Trump crossing the line. GOP=complicit, and that is a major thing that they should be beaten daily with. That’s far from the only thing the Ds (and the Is and Ls and Gs) campaign on, but it’s a top item.

      1. Yes, but will people get off their butts and vote? I certainly hope so and feel that the women’s movement will be a huge assist….but, we cannot let 2018 pass without retaking at least one house of Congress to stem this madness….I’m still hopeful for a Blue Wave but understand that we are the people who study these issues and others ignore them. Somehow, we have to find a way to make them want to become engaged….If T helps in his stupidity, fine. We have to shut him down.

      2. I did. Good for her. I also saw a story about another accusers’ house going up in flames. It’s being investigated as arson. Nothing so far to suggest that there’s any political motivation, but the facts are not all in, so I’ll leave it at that.

  6. Any number of cannabis stocks dropped up to 30% today. Will they recoup that loss in value over the next 2 weeks: Likely.

    Bur extrapolating what Chris posted, what happens when the DEA thugs raid some California recreational storefront, seize their records, and then arrest any number of California congressmen? Is the scenario I just described even legal? But, is legality even a factor, or does perception on the federal level “trump” (I really hate using that word) all?

      1. Actually, law enforcement is on the move against unlawful quantity sales… In Colorado. From a reading of the article, it appears that the law does not clearly set how many transactions can occur in one ounce sales in a single day…which will be the likely defense. Also, I have a problem with entrapment in any arrest process. It is good that local law enforcement is paying attention because if marijuana sales are going to be expanded to recreational use, there need to be enforceable laws and regulations.

        http://www.westword.com/marijuana/sweet-leaf-raids-casts-dark-shadow-over-colorado-pot-inudstry-9794343

        https://mjbizdaily.com/sweet-leaf-raids-highlight-need-clarity-colorados-marijuana-enforcement-regulations/

      2. Hey mime – Happy New Year to ya.

        Seems the local yokels need something to do now that they can’t bust anyone for just blowing a dube. If you go looking for entrapment, look under the rock of vice laws first. And BTW, we have never been speaking of “enforceable laws” anyway. Pot laws have never been enforceable – unless you count busting poor people with no means of defense. Legalization is the natural step following failure of the ability to enforce. (Witness the 55 mph speed limit, the 18th Amendment, and many more.)

        I was talking about the Feds, though.

      3. Yes, the INS…saw that, but thought it was interesting that local law enforcement is getting more involved in an issue which has so much local support….Of course, I am one of “those” people who believe regulations are needed to keep greedy people in check (white collar on down), so not saying they shouldn’t, only that they are watching. I don’t like the entrapment methods they utilized, though. I’m sticking by that. If the owner of this business has a good attorney (and I’ll bet he/she will), their defense will be the loopholes in the law….which may need to be closed but that’s why you write good laws that are properly screened to begin with, eh?

      4. I don’t disagree in general, but the vast majority of laws are not to “keep greedy people in check”. And that’s certainly not the motivation of the sorry-assed, bored, nothing-better-to-do cops in this example. Self-rightous assholes.

  7. Sessions’ actions may be inconsequential for cannabis business. Cannabis business is right now where gay marriage was a few years before the Supreme Court ruling: states legalization is falling like dominoes and the only people upset aren’t fun people to be around; any representative running on the concept just shows how much of a little twerp they really are.

    But it is consequential for the near term with regard to Cory Gardner’s placement on the Senate Judiciary Committee with regard to forwarding 45’s nominations for federal judges and other DoJ position, which he has promised to block. It’s consequential in terms of his and Lisa Murkowski’s votes for those positions, the two of them enough to sink any nominee now with Doug Jones reducing the GOP majority to 51.

    Whether this is a reprieve lasting only a news cycle before the next thing happens and Gardner goes back to forwarding nominations without people noticing, or it turns into a lasting feud that saves us hundreds of judicial seats for the remainder of Sessions’ time as Attorney General will have to be seen. 45 proved Republicans don’t hold their moral high ground and the tax bill proved they literally legislate exactly the opposite of what they claim, so Republicans are officially and probably both liars and cowards.

    But at least for the next few days, we can relax about judicial nominees. Let’s hope some mixture of ego and dick waving helps it last.

    1. Off topic but Sen. Grassley has turned into one reprehensible official. First he did McConnell’s bidding on holding Merrick Garland’s nomination hearing off until Obama left office, now he’s leading the fight against the author of the Trump/Russia dossier….The man is vile. With senior GOP leadership like this in charge, we are not likely to see any moderation in tactics. They simply are in it too deep now. Moral ground? No.Way.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senior-republican-refers-trump-dossier-author-for-possible-charges/2018/01/05/ead4585e-f0af-11e7-b390-a36dc3fa2842_story.html?utm_term=.a1015a34225f&wpisrc=al_news__alert-politics–alert-national&wpmk=1

  8. This latest action from the evil Keebler Elf is pretty much par for the course, and not much of substance. It’s not even in the direction he wants to go, which is the escalation of our stupid, racist, futile, and ruinous “War on Drugs”.

    No stoner am I, (for a very long while anyway), but at least this might be entertaining.

    BTW, there’s a great piece from 538 on the ‘promise’ of the pot market. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/legal-weed-isnt-the-boon-small-businesses-thought-it-would-be/

      1. And a Happy New Year to you too, FP!

        No harm in an electric brownie or two, I reckon. Somewhere along the way, I guess I just lost the urge. And it seems legalization would take all the fun out of it anyway. Maybe that’s why my shine tastes better!

      2. Well – the beer is legal. And I even grow some hops.

        My shine is made in a country where it’s not (exactly) “illegal”. It quite ambiguously is illegal as hell is here in the Land of the Free.

        But I really don’t give a rat’s southside whether or not what I do with or to myself is illegal or not. But that’s a luxury I have that many in our society do not. And that is the problem, my friend. We’re I poor or of color, damn right I’d worry. It’s bullshit. Rant off.

        Good to see you too!

  9. Some humor from the WaPo comment section:

    “it’s so cold today the socialists are walking around with their hands in their own pockets!”

    To which the retort came back: “actually the socialists are huddling together to keep each other warm”

    Either way, we midwesterners are chuckling about the east coasters crying Armageddon over subfreezing Temps. Pshaw. It’s not even negative yet. Call us when your spit freezes before it hits the sidewalk!

    Seriously though, hope everyone stays warm out there on the eastern front!

    PS. to the climate change deniers, this is actually predicted by climate science: bomb cyclones happen when cold air meets warm, wet air pockets. Increase the warmth and subsequent water capacity of ocean waters and the normal movement of land-based cold air through the jet stream over warmer wetter ocean air will cause more frequent bomb cyclones.

    1. Yes – noted that metaphor….Good to see Chris let some steam off…Lord knows he’s due!

      Meanwhile – Rolling Stone has a good article on Sessions/marijuana….including the fact that marijuana represents a crop of “$7.2 billion and accounting for an estimated 150,000 jobs in 2016 – for the government to shut it down. It’s overwhelmingly popular too; 64 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, favor legalization, according to a Gallup poll taken in October.”

      Suffice it to say that these state legislatures and the mayors and governors, are not going to allow this new profitable industry be taken away without a fight!

      https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/what-jeff-sessions-latest-move-means-for-pot-in-america-w514972?

      1. Practically speaking, it doesn’t make a lick of sense for the Keebler Elf AG to want to pick this fight. Even *if* he were serious about it (which I seriously doubt), he has to know that this would go on for years, subject to ferocious and growing pushback by the business community and a growing majority of the American people. Can we really chalk this up to coincidence that this decision popped up out of nowhere?

        Perhaps it did, but this feels disturbingly like Trump poking some random beehive to stoke up people sentiment to distract from an issue that he’d really like you to not talk about anymore, please and thank you. Maruijuana, particularly being as popular as it is, fits that bill nicely, and frankly most people aren’t familiar enough with the details to know not to worry.

        If so, fair enough to say that Trump would *very much* like you to stop thinking about Steve Bannon and not to read Fire and Fury tomorrow.

        BTW, I’ve already pre-purchased it for my Kindle app, ready and waiting for me and my morning cup of hot tea. 🙂

      2. It doesn’t make sense from a pragmatic POV, but don’t forget that Jeffy didn’t have any issues with the KKK until he heard than some of them smoked the hippie lettuce. This is akin to religious zeal, methinks, and that motivation doesn’t consider practicality.

      3. While true, that’s comparing apples and oranges. Marijuana’s an actual policy issue that an administration can have direct sway over if it so chooses, while Nazis (insofar as they’re a small subset of society waving tiki torches and chanting, “Jews will not replace us!”) are broadly a cultural one.

  10. Essentially both the main post and Jonathon’s reply are correct. However, in some of the ultra-conservative states the Feds will probably step in and create some havoc. Even in states like CA, OR, WA and CO the feds may try to take some high profile actions that will create some difficulties. Certainly in these states it will be almost impossible to get convictions, so the prosecutors probably will not pursue them.

    However, this will certainly make more work for the state AGs. Here in WA Ferguson is already planning on litigating this. But he is already litigating a number of issues with the T Administration. But it may be another issue that T uses in an attempt to deny Federal funds to states.

  11. Not sure I agree that this one will be forgotten tomorrow. Sessions seems like the type to follow through a small number of coordinated, high profile raids. That’ll rile up the Fox News base at the least.

    Longterm, this just seems like another nail in the GOP’s coffin, especially for younger people that just don’t see the issue with legal marijuana.

    1. You’re right about Sessions’ interests, but it takes a lot more than that to get something done in the Justice dept. Raids would be a loooong way off, even if Sessions wasn’t a dumbass, who’s fighting to stay out of prison.

      When Ashcroft wanted to shut down the dirty pictures in 2001, first he had to build (and fund) an inter-agency task force within the justice dept. Then he had to find partners in other agencies. Once they built and staffed the task force, then they had to find AAG’s willing to cooperate (which turned out to be a big problem). Once they’d identified a handful of AAG’s who didn’t laugh out loud at Ashcroft’s pervy interests, then they had to work with local law enforcement in the districts covered by the sympathetic AAG’s to find test cases. After vetting the test cases, then they had to find FBI and local law enforcement leaders who would be willing to execute the raids.

      That whole bit took almost two years. Once they started the raids the backlash began and by then Ashcroft was out. The new AG, Gonzales, was less interested and even less qualified. Five years in they started harassing some of the AAG’s who hadn’t cooperated, which got Gonzales in trouble. It was a big miserable failed mess, like almost everything the Bush Admin attempted.

      So, yea. I don’t think anything is going to happen on the marijuana front.

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