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Sessions' latest move just shows again why we need to follow the law.

If we're going to have a stable society, we have to follow the laws as written. Even those we don't like.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions just announced that he was rescinding the "Cole memo" left over from the Obama administration that directed federal prosecutors not to enforce the laws on marijuana use.

This announcement should not come as a surprise to anyone given Sessions' past comments on marijuana use. It also continues the pattern of the Trump administration basically doing everything it can to reverse policies put in place under President Obama.

That such a thing occurred in the first place is ludicrous. I don't want to get into a debate over marijuana use. There are pros and cons to legalization. That's a debate that we should have - and will have in the coming months. The issue I want to highlight is this: when we willfully ignore the laws, we end up with anarchy.

A friend in Colorado related to me that unemployment out there had essentially reached zero since the state legalized marijuana because anyone that wanted a job, HAD a job. And the pot industry paid in cash, because they knew better than to bank their money lest the feds reverse policy (as Sessions just announced today he is doing.) Since 2012, marijuana has been a legal business in Colorado. Experts estimated that 18,000 new jobs had been created by 2015. A whole tourist industry was built around it. And now the feds can just come in and legally put a stop to all of it?

Well, yes. Yes, they can. Because despite what the voters of Colorado decided, marijuana has never been legalized at the federal level. And now thousands of people could lose their jobs, their businesses, their money and even their freedom (depending on how far Sessions decides to push this thing.) In the coming days you'll hear lots of hysterical rhetoric aimed at Jeff Sessions. But he's just doing what he is obligated to do: enforce the federal laws as they are written. If anyone deserves blame for the situation, it's the people of Colorado that decided to pass this legislation, knowing that the Feds weren't obligated to allow it, and for the Obama administration for deciding to to let them.

A good comparison here is immigration law versus practice. For decades, federal immigration law has been routinely ignored. It didn't matter who was president or which party was in charge, illegal immigrants continued to pour into this country and once they were here, they pretty much got to stay. Some came across a poorly monitored Mexican border, but most entered legally and overstayed their visas. They somehow managed to find jobs, purchase houses, build communities and aid yet more illegals to come here. Even arrest on a felony warrant or imprisonment for a violent crime wasn't enough to insure deportation. Now, we're getting these heart-wrenching stories of families ripped apart and people being returned to countries they no longer have a connection to. We have young adults that were brought here by their parents while they were still children who were raised here and educated here - that don't even speak the language of their native countries. They have been allowed a temporary non-legal legal status under the DACA program that has suddenly been revoked, leaving thousands in limbo. And again everyone wants to blame Trump. But Donald Trump didn't write our immigration laws. It's not his fault that families have been here since the 80's - since the LAST time our government decided to grant a mass amnesty to them.

And the stupid part of this whole mess is that we HAVE an easy solution to the problem. If we want to legalize marijuana, we can. But it has to be done at the federal level. States could still choose what they will and will not allow in their own borders. Immigration on the other hand should only be set at the federal level. But if we want to just set an open boarder policy, we can do that. If we want to put a policy in place for deciding who to grant amnesty to, we can do that also. What we can't continue to do is allow the livelihood, freedom and residency of millions of people be left to the whim of each incoming administration.

I am constantly amazed at how this issue always seems to descend into a pro/anti legalization argument. The stoners want it legalized everywhere all the time. The anti- folks want it banned everywhere, all the time. The real question on this issue is should the federal govenment enforce the laws that exist? The answer is yes. The second question should be is marijuana a federal issue? No, it shouldn't be. We should remove federal restrictions and leave it up the states. Then we can have an argument over whether legalization is a good or bad idea, how to allow it or not, etc. for each state. We must adhere to the laws that exist and get rid of, not ignore, the bad ones.

I may be wrong, but I thought the Federal Government was limited in the laws it could make and the rest was up to the individual states. That is why some states could allow their people to buy health insurance across state lines and others didn't.

They should've strangled this bad idea in the crib. I don't even know how Colorado's law wasn't thrown out by the Supreme Court for how obviously illegal it is. And don't even give me that Jurisdiction crap, the fact is someone has to grow it on a farm and that farm is illegal and anyone selling it in a store is committing an illegal act The DEA should've just walked into the stores, arrested the owners, then gone to the farms and arrested the growers. You don't have to arrest every single worker, you only have to arrest a few. It's called Broken Windows.

Thanks for highlighting this topic, Merrie. Jeff Sessions made the right move.
You're right, it's not about the pros and cons of legalization based on the merits of marijuana. It's about Federal overreach. I agree 100% with @etbass. This should be a state matter. An unaddressed concern, however, leads me back to an article I wrote a few days ago. Even where marijuana is legal, the drug industry is always a cash business. If each state had a consumption tax rather than a Federal Income Tax, all the money from illegal activities would be subject to taxation when a consumer made a purchase. That would lower the tax burden on all of us.

The federal government (supposedly) has jurisdiction over the issue only because the Supreme Court got Wickard v. Filburn as wrong as they possibly could in 1942. Supporting Colorodo's right to determine drug policy is no different than supporting the eight states that have passed a version of the Firearms Freedom Act, which declares that any firearms made and retained in-state are beyond the authority of Congress under its constitutional power to regulate commerce among the states. Montana was the first state to pass the FFA and it has subsequently been passed in Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Arizona, Kansas, and Tennessee.

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