California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana when the bold decision was made in 1996. While, these days, more than half of the states and District of Columbia have followed suit, back then, legalizing medical marijuana was seen as a very progressive thing to do. Today, it seems less so, as the majority of all Americans now support legalization of medical marijuana, and a growing percentage support legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, as well.
One person who does not stand with the rest of the nation in its support for medical marijuana and recreational use of marijuana is U.S. Attorney General Jefferson “Jeff” Beauregard Sessions III. Sessions has repeatedly spoken out against the use of marijuana for any purpose and has said that “good people” do not use marijuana. He has vowed to enforce the federal laws against marijuana to the fullest extent possible. This is especially true with respect to recreational use of marijuana. One of his new targets is California, where voters recently legalized marijuana for recreational use. According to a recent news article from Politico, California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former Democratic congressmen, has said he is willing to take on Jeff Sessions if he tries to go after California’s state legal marijuana program.
At one point during the interview that served as the basis for this article, Politico’s David Siders asked Becerra if he had ever personally used marijuana, and his response was that he tried it when the was much younger. In response, Siders chided Becerra by asking if it was legal when he tried, knowing that it wasn’t. However, Becerra aptly responded that he occasionally drives over the speed limit too, and this seemed to satisfy Siders.
While this exchange was done in a light-hearted manner, it is a good example of the public feelings and perception that surround marijuana. The first point is that many people, if not most people, have tried marijuana at some point in their lives. This is not to say that something is safe if everyone does it, but it does show that there is a lot of hypocrisy among those who claim to strongly oppose the legalization of medical marijuana. The other point is that by comparing it to driving over the speed limit, we see that the federal prohibition is not something most people strongly feel they must follow.
Although it should be noted that Becerra does not feel he will have to fight Sessions on the issue of marijuana legalization, because, as he puts it, “I’ll probably be the millionth person in line to fight Jeff Sessions on that.”
As our Los Angeles medical marijuana attorneys can explain, while there is not a high likelihood that Sessions could do much to actually stop California’s recreational marijuana business, just as the federal government could not prevent medical marijuana legalization back in the late 1990s, the feds do have the ability to make things very difficult by constantly harassing those in the industry, as also happened in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For this reason, if you are in the marijuana business, the best thing you can do is to speak with an experienced marijuana rights attorney to make sure you are doing everything possible to stay out of trouble.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
California AG defends state’s marijuana laws, May 11, 2017, By Bianca Padro Ocasio, Politico
More Blog Entries:
Report: Colorado Marijuana Laws May Not be Safe, Feb. 5, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Lawyer Blog