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Jeff Sessions and the Great Cannabis Shakedown

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The good folks of Alabama have a problem…

The Yellowhammer State has the highest level of prescription opioid use in the country.

Given the opioid epidemic currently facing our nation, this should be cause for concern—especially for those in Washington who wish to use government muscle to solve all of our problems. 

In fact, given the severity of the opioid crisis, one wonders whether or not the Department of Justice should be investigating the states that are under the most distress. Perhaps checking in with the governors of those states to see what they’re doing, to not only address this issue, but to demand answers as to why so many folks—particularly children—aren’t being protected from such easy access to these drugs.

Of course, I say this in jest as it should be up to individual states to act in their own interests without the threat of violence from the federal government. 

But I do find it interesting that the former senator of Alabama, and the current attorney general of the United States, seems to be more concerned about cannabis than oxycodone or hydrocodone—substances, by the way, that are far more harmful than cannabis, but tend to be prescribed with about as much care as one would prescribe aspirin or “plenty of rest.” Or at least that’s how it seems. 

In fact, Jeff Sessions is so laser-focused on depriving the rights of individuals to medicate and recreate peacefully with cannabis, that he’s essentially using flawed data in an attempt to shake down the folks who are exercising their 10th Amendment rights.

In a recent, somewhat threatening letter to the governor of Colorado, Attorney General Jeff Sessions expressed his concerns about the health and safety issues related to the legalization of cannabis. To justify his concerns, Sessions cited data from a 2016 report published by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which is a federally-funded agency run by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

The report’s findings suggest that with the legalization of cannabis, the state of Colorado saw an increase in highway patrol seizures, youth use and traffic deaths. Sessions noted in his letter that those findings were relevant to cannabis policy debates.

The only problem is that those findings have been heavily criticized by those who are closest to the issue.

According to John Hudak, a drug policy expert and senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, this particular report was put together by law enforcement agencies that are notorious for using data out of context or drawing grand conclusions that data ultimately does not support.

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Forbes actually did a piece on this issue back in 2015 entitled, “Supposedly Neutral Federal Report Stacks The Deck Against Marijuana Legalization.”

Washington Governor Jay Inslee also chimed in, saying:

“It is clear that our goals regarding health and safety are in step with the goals AG Sessions has articulated. Unfortunately, he is referring to incomplete and unreliable data that does not provide the most accurate snapshot of our efforts since the marketplace opened in 2014.”

But that didn’t stop Sessions from referencing the HIDTA report in his letter to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, which includes this somewhat threatening reminder that states’ rights are of no concern to the Attorney General of the United States:

“After our meeting, I re-read with interest the statement in your letter that you ‘have worked …to establish robust regulatory structures that prioritize public health and public safety,’ and that you believe that the 2013 Cole Memorandum, its eight enforcement priorities, and related memoranda are an ‘indispensable’ part of the ‘framework’ in your state. In that regard, I would note the concluding paragraph: ‘nothing herein [in the Cole Memorandum] precludes investigation or prosecution, even in the absence of any one of the factors listed above, in particular circumstances where investigation and prosecution otherwise serves an important federal interest.’ Thus, the memorandum ‘does not alter in any way the Department’s authority to enforce federal law, including federal laws relating to marijuana, regardless of state law.’”

You can read the entire letter—here.

It’s no secret that Jeff Sessions has had it in for the cannabis industry since day one.  

Making such ridiculous statements such as “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” and “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store,” there should be no doubt that the attorney general is attempting to use his power to undermine an industry that is not only helping sick folks treat their illnesses with an effective medication, but also breathing new life into local economies all across the nation.

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The truth is, Sessions may even be inhibiting a possible solution to the opioid crisis by demonizing the cannabis industry, which some are now suggesting could actually help fight the opioid crisis. 

In fact, according to a recent report from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, legalizing cannabis can result in a decrease in fatal opiate overdoses.

Of course, I’m not a doctor, but the research certainly seems a lot more promising in terms of fighting the opioid crisis than spending taxpayer dollars on what is really proving to be little more than a government-funded shakedown of the cannabis industry.

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The bottom line is that the attorney general of the United States is abusing his power by violating the 10th Amendment. 

Jeff Sessions, under the terms of his oath of office, swore to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Not only has he failed in adhering to this very basic job description, but he’s gone out of his way to violate it.

People in this country get fired for violating dress codes, but the attorney general gets to keep his job after violating the most important part of his job description? This is unacceptable, and we, as the people, need to do a better job at holding these guys accountable for their actions.

Bullying governors and spreading misinformation about something that’s so beneficial to this nation is, for lack of a better word, treasonous. Understand, I don’t mean to come off as hyperbolic, but there’s no other way to describe it.

Jeff Sessions is not only betraying the basic fundamentals of his job, but he’s betraying his country. 

And that, dear reader, is why Jeff Sessions should be dismissed from his job.

Look at it like this…

If a police officer violated the basic fundamentals of his or her job description, we would expect that officer to be relieved of duty. So why would we accept anything less from the individual who has been charged with the responsibility of being the chief law enforcement officer of the United States?

There’s no excuse for this behavior. 

We didn’t accept it in previous administrations, and we shouldn’t accept it now.

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Jeff Siegel's been active in the financial publishing business since the mid-90s. A true capitalist, Jeff has made his fortune in what's known as socially-responsible investing, focusing primarily on alternative energy and transportation markets, sustainability, legal cannabis, and agriculture. He's a regular on the conference circuit, and every now and then you might find him appearing on Fox, CNBC, or Bloomberg. From 1994 to 2001, Jeff worked for Agora Publishing, one of the largest financial newsletter publishers in the world, before packing his bags and traveling across the globe in search of mega-trends and his own version of nirvana... He found both in the world of "green" markets. Jeff's early analyses of alternative energy and socially-responsible investing drew much criticism from the status quo. His unapologetic capitalist spirit, and abrasive nature didn't earn him many accolades from colleagues, either... But after accurately predicting dozens of trends in the ever-changing landscape of "green" market investing, many have since traded their preconceptions of socially-responsible investing for profits. Often declaring, “Capitalism is a catalyst for positive change,” Jeff continues to spot the most lucrative renewable energy, organic food and cannabis companies in the world. And his thousands of loyal readers have made small fortunes in the process. Each week, Jeff shares the latest in "green" market news as well as his own market updates and recommendations. Jeff also works as a consultant, has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling energy book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks and is the co-author of Energy Investing for Dummies. http://www.wealthdaily.com/editors/jeff-siegel

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