We learned on Tuesday from a leaked letter that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants Congress to get rid of the current rules that prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with the states that the permit medical marijuana.
Sessions apparently wants to stop sick people from getting the treatment they currently receive. Cancer patients. Kids with epilepsy. Veterans with PTSD. People suffering from multiple sclerosis, arthritis, glaucoma, HIV, Alzheimer’s — the drug has done wonders for many who are ill.
To date, medical marijuana has been legalized in 29 states and Washington, D.C.
But Sessions reportedly wants to stop all this because he probably thinks “Reefer Madness” is a documentary.
Thankfully, Republican Senators Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Lisa Murkowski are teaming up with Democrats Al Franken, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand to support a bill that would protect states that allow medical marijuana from any federal interference. This legislation would also remove current obstacles to medical marijuana research.
There is a House version that also has bipartisan support. The lawmakers are expected to introduce this bill on Thursday.
The bill will be a new version of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act of 2015 (CARERS) originally introduced by Sen. Booker two years ago and that was also sponsored by the bipartisan group of senators pushing the new legislation.
The Obama administration showed restraint in prosecuting those who violated federal drug laws in states where medical and recreational marijuana has become legal. Sessions has signaled that he wants to reverse this policy and also start reinforcing drug war-related federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws that President Obama had also relaxed.
Disclosure: I co-authored the 2011 book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington” with Sen. Rand Paul.