By Benjamin Lemley | USA
Last Thursday with the help of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Trump administration took aim at marijuana decriminalization. Specific policy changes repealed a measure, implemented under Obama in 2013, that protected states Marijuana policies from federal intervention. With this change comes an opportunity for the federal government to closely monitor and potentially choose whether or not to enforce laws on a state to state level based on the content of the policy.
Obviously, objections were quick to arise. One of the most notable came from former representative Ron Paul. Paul appeared on CNN Saturday denounces Sessions actions. He said that Sessions represents something that is completely un-American. “To me, the war on drugs is a war on liberty,”. He added that “Jeff Sessions is not a Libertarian, not at all.” Paul justified his pro-choice position by saying that “I think that we overly concentrate on the issue of the drug itself, and I concentrate on the issue of freedom of choice, on doing things that are high risk. We permit high risk all the time. We do overly concentrate on what people put into their body,”. The Trump AG was farther scolded, when Paul called the as to called the war on drugs a “totally illegal system” and adding that is “very questionable constitutionally”.
Beyond the concerns which Paul voices on the violation of civil liberties, many legal weed advocates from all sides of the aisle have been concerned with the potential federal abuse for which this change allows. While the issue and violation of rights and the enforcement of those violations go hand in hand, this example specifically, of federal oversight of state policies, seems to cross a major line.
Paul’s major claim was that Sessions should be fired over his un-American change. With support from democrats in congress, and building public pressure it is uncertain how long Sessions will hold his current role.