(Photo Credit - Gage Skidmore)
There's been a big stir around U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' memo titled "Update on the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety." Other marijuana-focused publications have covered this memo as a major blow to the cannabis community, however it only mentions marijuana once. The main focus of the memo was to provide an update on the formation of the Department of Justice's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.
Yes, this memo added to the fear and uncertainty surrounding cannabis regulations going forward. No, it was not a direct attack on the marijuana industry.
Jeff Sessions memo's only comment in regard to cannabis was:
"Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department's overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities."
Jeff Sessions has "asked for initial recommendations from the Task Force no later than July 27th" from the subcommittees formed to "identify ways in which the federal government can more effectively combat illegal immigration and violent crime, such as gun crime, drug trafficking, and gang violence."
This Task Force is less of a war on marijuana, and more of a war on violent offenders. More of the memo was devoted to addressing efforts to reduce hate crimes and an emphasized focus on crimes related to human trafficking.
If this Task Force is going to evaluate marijuana enforcement in relation to "Administration goals and priorities," then it should fall low on the list. With everything that is going on in Syria, and sustained interest in Trump's alleged connection to Russia, the Administration has bigger concerns.
Additionally, "another subcommittee will explore our use of asset forfeiture and make recommendations on any improvements needed to legal authorities, policies, and training to most effectively attack the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations." There are still many criminal operators in the marijuana business, and cracking down would only further help legal marijuana businesses in succeeding.
As long as President Trump holds to his promise that states should have the right to make their own decisions regarding cannabis laws, the progress that has been made in so many states will not be lost. The legal marijuana industry should not be associated with violent criminal activity anyways!
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