Montana Politics

Montanans Have Twice Endorsed Medical Marijauna – Why Do Montana Republicans Keep Attacking it?

Montana first passed a ballot initiative making medical marijauna legal in 2004 and re-affirmed that decision in 2016. Medical Marijuana has been legal in some states since 1996. Recreational marijuana has been legal in some states since 2013. California, the largest state by population and economy just opened up their legal pot industry.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes the gates of hell have been opened up during this expansion of state’s rights. These are AG Session’s deeply held beliefs, so, with the blessing of President Trump, who broke a major campaign promise, but what else is new, Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo last week that directed the U.S. Department of Justice to not enforce federal marijuana drug laws in states that have approved medical or legal cannabis.

Jeff Sessions has yet to complete his first year in office. But already he has cemented his status as the worst choice for attorney general in recent American history. via New

Donald Trump’s policy was “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state.” via Washington Post

Then we saw Republicans in states with the legal use of cannabis posturing against this decision by Sessions.

We saw Senator Cory Gardner from Colorado slam Sessions on the Senate floor for his decision to start coming after legal marijuana businesses in his state.

Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner:

This must be left up to the states,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) tweeted. “This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states. I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.”

We heard from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski that she has repeatedly asked Sessions to not make this decision.

Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski:

Over the past year I repeatedly discouraged Attorney General Sessions from taking this action and asked that he work with the states and Congress if he feels changes are necessary. Today’s announcement is disruptive to state regulatory regimes and regrettable.”

Even Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose state doesn’t even have medical or recreational marijuana, called Sessions out for a violation of state’s rights.

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Pauk:

 “This is a states’ rights issue, and the federal government has better things to focus on.”

We’ve heard crickets from the Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte.

Senator Daines even voted to confirm Jeff Sessions knowing full well his archaic views on marijuana laws in this country.

Montana voters have spoken twice now through ballot initiatives to support medical marijuana for patients. Daines and Gianforte and their Republican friends, Jeff Essmann and Steve Zabawa, have tried to reverse the people’s decision again, and again, and again.

Zabawa, who is president of the purposely misleading SafeMontana, recently said the decision by AG Sessions is “a huge win for Montana families, It’s huge for America.” I suppose that is what Making American Great Again really is; the return of reefer madness, the criminalization of minorities through drug laws, and the further addiction of millions of Americans to prescription drugs and opioids. MAGA!

The reality here is that the medical and recreational cannabis push by states has made the greatest impact over the war on drugs than any program or law enforcement has ever done. The legalization of weed has also filled state coffers to help fund progressive programs for the poor and disabled, has helped fund the education system in Colorado and other states, and has ended the over-criminalization of youth and minorities. Hell on earth indeed Mr. Sessions.

As much posturing that went on last week by Senators Gardner, Murkowski, Paul, and even Daines’ no comment, they all should have known this would happen. If they all just looked at Jeff Sessions record on medical and recreational marijuana, they knew that a tiger never changes his stripes. They knew Sessions has always had a fever dream about marijuana and the criminalization or minorities and gays. But they didn’t care.

The truth is, most Republicans, like Steve Daines, support this decision but they know it’s too unpopular to come out against medical or recreational marijuana, so they voted for an Attorney General who would do their dirty work for them.



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