Other View: Let the states set marijuana policy

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As reported by public radio station WOSU, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Ben Glassman, does not intend to change his approach, stating that he will focus his office on where he can, "Make the biggest impact in reducing harm and promoting public safety".

The new data comes in the wake of polling that shows historic levels of support for marijuana legalization nationwide.

Clearly, there are wrinkles to iron out for the retail sale of weed to be 100 percent successful, but other states have been doing it for several years and are still doing well.

"It would not legalize".

Sessions "wants to maintain a system that has led to tremendous injustice ... and that has wasted federal resources on a huge scale", said Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. It's also an issue that receives backing from people across the political spectrum.

Garrett said his interest in ending the federal prohibition on marijuana is not grounded in a belief that marijuana should be freely available, but rather in the notion that laws should be applied uniformly. Forty-two percent said they supported a federal crackdown, and 47 percent said they opposed it. "So that is manifest injustice on its face", Garrett said. "It's about equal justice".

"We applaud lawmakers for heeding the calls of their constituents and taking this important step toward treating marijuana more like alcohol", Simon said.

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The Trump administration's anti-marijuana move has some members of the president's voting base fuming. "The federal government should not interfere with the will of the people".

What Sessions did was to send the issue where it rightly belongs and shined a bright light on Congress to finally do something about reconciling the conflict between states that have legalized medicinal and/or recreational use and the laws on the books classifying the drug alongside heroin and cocaine. This continues even after states have legalized medical marijuana. They include Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and California, which account for 20 percent of Americans. As for medical marijuana, 91 percent of voters polled by Quinnipiac said they support its legalization.

"However, any such federal enforcement/interference action, will, for the time being, be limited to actors in recreational states because the [Rohrabacher-Blumenauer] amendment to the spending bill for the U.S Justice Department...prohibits the DOJ from using any of its budget/resources to interfere with or prosecute state legal medical marijuana businesses", Kulick continued, saying that a "very complex and complicated" area of the law had just become more so.

"Because related guidance from FinCEN requires banks to report by the filing of SARs the fact that they are providing banking services to marijuana businesses operating lawfully under local state laws, the rescission of the Cole Memorandum may mean that the required SARs filing are tantamount to admissions of criminal behavior by a bank and its personnel", Lynyak says.

Attorney General Sessions should be commended for upholding the "rule of law" on marijuana as well as putting the scientific and medical evidence on the dangers of marijuana ahead of the politics (and profits) of legalization and commercialization.

Advocates for legal marijuana cite that kind of economic growth, which produces taxes for state coffers, along with evidence that access to legal cannabis reduces the risk of opioid death. Add payroll tax deductions and business tax revenue from new jobs and enterprises, and the study says new revenue will total more than $138 billion.

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