Independent Political Report
On Jan. 4, acting against the advice of his own Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum. This Obama-era memo had allowed states to set their own cannabis rules and regulations, with minimal intervention by the federal government. In rescinding the memo, the Trump administration has flouted the U.S. Constitution’s provision to reserve most powers to the states, a precept that the Libertarian Party holds as fundamental to the federalist structure the country’s founders crafted.
“Sessions’s move to reinstate excessive power at the federal level is like opening hunting season,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “Now federal prosecutors may fire their regulatory ‘shotguns,’ at will, at anybody in the pot business, whether medical or recreational, whether operating legally under state laws or not. It is high time for Congress to act. They should immediately end prohibition: that means repeal all drug laws and grant amnesty to federal prisoners found guilty solely of nonviolent drug offenses.”
Since 2014, the bipartisan Rohrabacher–Blumenauer amendment (formerly Rohrabacher–Farr) attached to all federal spending bills has served to prohibit the use of federal funds on medical-marijuana prosecution, thus offering individuals and businesses only a veneer of protection. In 2015, Rep. Tom McClintock (R–Calif.) proposed a stronger amendment that would also apply to recreational marijuana and would codify into law that spending ban, but which unfortunately has not yet been passed.
Libertarians appreciate that other representatives from the older parties have also been moving toward the repeal of prohibition...