Pro-Pot States to Sessions: Why Can’t Weed Be Friends?

Public support for pot is on the rise. More states are looking to legalize marijuana or expand accessibility. In fact, cannabis is one of the few issues thatmarijuana legalization politicians on both sides of the aisle can agree on these days, particularly medical marijuana. It’s a time when cannabis is poised to go mainstream and become an accepted medical resource, cultural norm, and economic powerhouse. Yet, since the current administration entered Washington, D.C. and Jeff Sessions was asked to helm the Justice Department, the industry has faced uncertainty and instability.

That’s why states that strongly support marijuana legalization, including California, have requested a meeting with Sessions with the goal reconcile the stark contrast between state law and federal law, according to the Associated Press. The state treasurer from California was joined by Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Illinois in crafting a letter to open dialogue with Sessions about what banks and marijuana businesses can expect from the federal government in terms of enforcement moving forward. As our skilled lawyers can explain, the federal government is holding firm to marijuana’s Schedule I classification as part of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812. To receive this classification, a substance must not demonstrate medical benefits, be considered unsafe, and have a high potential for abuse. To make these claims about cannabis is absurd, and frankly, Sessions is standing on the wrong side of history on this one.

Most people agree, as evidenced by polls and votes reflecting rising swell of public support for legalization and decriminalization. Some form of cannabis is legal in 29 states, plus Washington, D.C., with many more considering ballot initiatives. To treat a majority of the states as criminals is absolutely preposterous and at least warrants a sincere and thorough examination of the biased and unscientific measures that led us down the path of pot prohibition in the first place.

Study after study has come out showing positive connections with cannabis and medical treatments, including cancer, anxiety, chronic pain, and glaucoma to name just few. To claim there is no effective treatment is an outright lie and a disservice to the thousands upon thousands of Americans who seek relief from medical marijuana.

Even Congress seems to be on the side of marijuana advocates, extending the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment in a federal spending bill that restricts the Justice Department’s ability to use federal funds to go after state-sanctioned medical marijuana operations. However, the department has already lifted Obama-era protections that also covered recreational operations, which partially prompted the letter. Without decisive action from Congress, these businesses have been left vulnerable.

Our experienced Los Angeles marijuana business attorneys know that even with these protections, the Schedule I classification is tying the hands of banks, who must answer to federal restrictions, from being able to work with cannabis businesses. They cannot knowingly manage accounts tied to “criminal activity.” The real crime is how these honest business owners are being treated when all evidence is contrary to the stubbornly held beliefs of a select few at the top. That is why we fight so hard for cannabis patients, marijuana business owners, and all of those who seek to enjoy marijuana in a safe and responsible way.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

States Where Marijuana is Legal Want Jeff Sessions to Reconsider His War on Weed, March 30, 2018, By Greg Price, Newsweek

More Blog Entries:

Federal Budget Protects State Medical Marijuana Businesses, For Now, Feb. 14, 2018. Los Angeles Marijuana Legalization Attorneys Blog