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posted by martyb on Saturday April 14 2018, @10:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the outlook-is...-hazy dept.

President Trump has promised Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado that he will support states that choose to legalize cannabis, despite rescinding the Cole Memo earlier in the year. In exchange, Gardner will stop holding up the confirmation of Trump's Department of Justice nominees:

"Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states' rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana," Gardner said in a statement. "Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice's rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado's legal marijuana industry. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees," Gardner added.

The Washington Post first reported the development, and the White House confirmed on Friday Gardner's statement was accurate.

In January, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Cole Memo, Obama-era guidance designed to discourage prosecutors from targeting states that have legalized marijuana. The move provoked an outcry from marijuana friendly states, including Gardner's Colorado, in which the marijuana industry has flourished since 2000. Angry that Sessions had reneged on his pledge to leave marijuana states alone, Gardner promised to block all DOJ nominations, pending a resolution. Since then, he has held up about 20 Justice nominations, the Washington Post reported.

The news caused a surge in the stocks of some cannabis companies.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who was "unalterably opposed" to legalization of cannabis back in 2011, has now evolved and is seeing green. Boehner announced that he has joined a board of advisers for Acreage Holdings, a cannabis corporation operating in 11 states. Is it a "watershed moment" for the industry?


Original Submission

Related Stories

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Will Rescind the Cole Memo 112 comments

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly rescind the Cole Memo (DoJ), effectively ending the moratorium on enforcing cannabis prohibition in states where it has been legalized:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back an Obama-era policy that gave states leeway to allow marijuana for recreational purposes.

Two sources with knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Hill that Sessions will rescind the so-called Cole memo, which ordered U.S. attorneys in states where marijuana has been legalized to deprioritize prosecution of marijuana-related cases.

The Associated Press first reported the decision.

Sessions, a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, has hinted for months that he would move to crack down on the growing cannabis market.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner says he will hold up the confirmation process for DoJ nominees:

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) threatened on Thursday to start holding up the confirmation process for White House Justice Department nominees unless Attorney General Jeff Sessions reverses a decision to roll back a policy allowing legalized recreational use of marijuana in some states.

Gardner said in a series of tweets that Sessions had told him before he was confirmed by the Senate that he would not change an Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related offenses in states where the substance had been legalized. Colorado is one of those states.

[...] The Justice Department's reversal of the Cole memo on Thursday came three days after California's new law allowing recreational marijuana use went into effect.

Other politicians have reacted strongly to the news.

Previously: New Attorney General Claims Legal Weed Drives Violent Crime; Statistics be Damned
4/20: The Third Time's Not the Charm
Jeff Sessions Reboots the Drug War
According to Gallup, American Support for Cannabis Legalization is at an All-Time High
Opioid Commission Drops the Ball, Demonizes Cannabis
Recreational Cannabis Goes on Sale in California

Related: Attorney General Nominee Jeff Sessions Backs Crypto Backdoors


Original Submission

Politics: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns, as Requested by Donald Trump 62 comments

We had two Soylentils submit stories about Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

Trump fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46132348

"US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been fired by President Donald Trump.

[...] Mr Trump said Mr Sessions will be temporarily replaced by his chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, who has criticised the Russia inquiry.

[...] In a resignation letter, Mr Sessions - a former Alabama senator who was an early supporter of Mr Trump - made clear the decision to go was not his own.

[...] The president cannot directly fire the special counsel, whose investigation Mr Trump has repeatedly decried as a witch hunt. But Mr Sessions' replacement will have the power to fire Mr Mueller or end the inquiry.

[...] Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he looks forward to 'working with President Trump to find a confirmable, worthy successor so that we can start a new chapter at the Department of Justice'.

Mr Graham, of South Carolina, had said last year there would be 'holy hell to pay' if Mr Sessions was ever fired."

[...] House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said: "It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions' firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by President Trump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller's investigation."

4/20: The Mary Jane Majority 56 comments

Past articles: 201520162017 👀

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come out in support of federal cannabis decriminalization, just in time for 4/20:

The Minority Leader of the Senate is making it official the day before 4/20: He's down with legal weed. In an exclusive interview with VICE News, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) confirmed he is putting his name on legislation that he said is aimed at "decriminalizing" marijuana at the federal level. For Schumer, this is a shift. While he has backed medical marijuana and the rights of states to experiment with legal sales of pot, what he is proposing is a seismic shift in federal drug policy.

"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do. Freedom. If smoking marijuana doesn't hurt anybody else, why shouldn't we allow people to do it and not make it criminal?" Schumer said.

The legislation should be available within a week or so, and would remove cannabis (still listed as "Marihuana") from the Drug Enforcement Administration's list of Schedule I substances. States would then be free to regulate or continue to prohibit the plant. Cannabis advertising would be regulated as are alcohol and tobacco advertising. (Also at NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and CNBC, as well as Reason taking a shot at Schumer for not doing it sooner.)

A majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis, including, for the first time, a majority (51%) of Republicans, according to Gallup. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use. 29 states, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico have legalized medical use of cannabis, and another 17 states have legalized the use of cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis became available for recreational purposes in California on January 1.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday April 14 2018, @11:08AM (25 children)

    Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, who was "unalterably opposed" to legalization of cannabis back in 2011, has now evolved and is seeing green.

    Let that be a lesson to everyone. Very little involving humans is unalterable, even your most deeply professed beliefs. Odds are you'll stop believing them (or at least rationalize yourself an exception) as soon as it becomes inconvenient for you. Moral fiber is not something we've encouraged in this nation for quite a while.

    --
    "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:09PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:09PM (#666888)

      They follow the money.

      It would bet that Boehner is being paid handsomely to lobby on behalf of Big Weed; that, or he has related investments now.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:23PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:23PM (#666893)

        You don't have to bet, it's right there in the last paragraph...

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:40PM (#666900)

          > Re:Politicians don't have deeply held beliefs.

          We can only hope that Boehner has deeply held tokes.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:38PM (12 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:38PM (#666897) Journal

      At least he made the right choice. Greed and weed are good.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by fritsd on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:50PM (2 children)

        by fritsd (4586) on Saturday April 14 2018, @12:50PM (#666906) Journal

        Sounds like a good name for a coffeeshop on Wall Street!

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:19PM (1 child)

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:19PM (#666931) Homepage Journal

          People don't know this, Lower Manhattan used to be called New Amsterdam. And it was Dutch!

          --
          Sent from my iPhone
          • (Score: 2) by fritsd on Saturday April 14 2018, @07:42PM

            by fritsd (4586) on Saturday April 14 2018, @07:42PM (#667004) Journal

            And Stuyvesant means: sand blowing in your face on the beach in an irritating way. Kinda.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:49PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:49PM (#666943) Journal

        Greed is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. That was some serious evolving, to say greed is good.

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:54PM (6 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:54PM (#666967) Homepage

        He doesn't even have to explicitly state support for weed, all he has to do is just allow the legal weed industry and recreational usage to expand under his watch. Of course, if he did explicitly support dude weed lmao that would grant him instant re-election and shut up those whining liberals, who will be too stoned to continue to be angry at him.

        As far as addressing the broader discussion, yes, beliefs can change. I used to be a liberal democrat and believed in multiculturalism and that all people are equal and that racial and ethnic stereotypes are false. Then real-life happened. Why wish for world peace when it's a lot easier to nuke scumbag cultures from the face of the Earth?

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @06:04PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @06:04PM (#666983)

          Sounds like you need a special brownie, I bet it would help you become a better person.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by archfeld on Saturday April 14 2018, @11:57PM (4 children)

          by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Saturday April 14 2018, @11:57PM (#667097) Journal

          They need to change the federal law so that the cannabis industry can deal with federally insured banks and the feds can get a share of taxes from what is sure to become a billion dollar or more industry. I have some friends in Oakland who've been growing and distributing for many years now under the previous co-op and medicinal laws, that have massive cash storage issues, and piles of cash set aside to pay what their accountant recommended was the approximate amount for federal taxes, just in case it got legalized or in case they got busted the could show good faith in the federal system by having ready tax money.

          --
          For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
          • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:04AM (2 children)

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:04AM (#667228)

            You're late to the party bud!
            The (quasi)legal marijuana industry made 6.7 billion dollars in 2016 and were projected the hit 10b by the end of 2017. I didn't spend any time to see if they made that total, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a lowball. Here, there are 6 recreational shops within five miles of where I live and two within one mile, and I live on the outskirts of town.

            It's a Forbes article, so it has that annoying Quote page before the article... https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/01/03/marijuana-sales-totaled-6-7-billion-in-2016/#2978601e75e3 [forbes.com]

            Our state collected $319 million dollars in taxes and licenses last year. And the prices in the shops are comparable to the old street prices. Black market dealers are very few and far between, the black market is essentially dead here.

            Amazingly, the world did not descend into chaos with the legalization of marijuana....crime went down, except for DUI for driving stoned, but that's a tad unfair as they never kept track of drugged driving over drunken driving in the past, and combined I don't believe it exceeded the old combined total, or if it did, not by much. And opioid use went down. It has been a net win all the way around.
            You're far more likely to see grandma at the weed store than the stereotypical stoner, grandma has money.

            https://www.tre.wa.gov/portfolio-item/washington-state-marijuana-revenues-and-health/ [wa.gov]

            --
            The Trump Presidency, an attempt to make Nixon look respectable......
            • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Sunday April 15 2018, @06:52PM

              by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Sunday April 15 2018, @06:52PM (#667358) Journal

              :) I've been vaporizing with a homemade system since before California had medicinal, and part of a coop in Oakland for going on 20 years now. I regularly grow from clones at my place in the SF bay area, but here in AZ they are not so enlightened yet. My point was that despite the states legal standing, until the Feds do something as a commercial grower you can't deal with a bank or any federal institution. Oaktown has a huge cash storage issue. Financing for the initial build out of the Oaktown grow houses had to be done in cash and there is still an issue with what do with the profits. You can't secure a business loan for expansion because no bank will deal with you for fear of federal retribution. There is still the issue of retroactive federal taxation should things change for the better soon. You can't file for incorporation or any legal standing outside of the state and you can't legally transport or deal with any entity out of state. I understand Colorado and Washington have a great up and coming markets and are developing a thriving pot culture but neither has yet to reach the peak of the Trinity area in Northern California, where they have been experimenting with strains and growing method for 30 years now.

              --
              For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
            • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Monday April 16 2018, @05:04AM

              by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Monday April 16 2018, @05:04AM (#667516) Journal

              Another thought occurred to me. We really need a test or some method to determine if a driver is stoned, NOW, or just has pot in their system from last weekend. I love to vape me some good wax, or just blow a turkey bag full of vapor and watch a movie with the GF, but I am against anyone driving under the influence of anything. I realize that is a bit hypocritical since in high school in the 80's we used to get blasted and go drag racing out in the sticks near Lodi, but today is a different day and all that shit. I also get annoyed that I have to clean up every 6 months or so that I can potentially take a drug test for a new contract. It would be awesome if you could smoke like people drink recreationally and not have the employment issues that come with partaking in pot. If you are a truck driver or on the job with a badge in a legal state you still can't partake at anytime...

              --
              For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:08AM

            by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:08AM (#667231)

            Oops, forgot to mention (really great wax this week...whoa!) sales of legal marijuana in Washington state have climbed up to $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2017

            (from the last link)

            --
            The Trump Presidency, an attempt to make Nixon look respectable......
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday April 14 2018, @07:59PM

        I disagree. There needs to be an amendment legalizing it or at the very least some law carving out things that the FDA is not allowed to regulate, otherwise you're just refusing to enforce the law because you don't like it and violating your oath of office. I fully believe it should be legal but making it legal also needs to be done legally.

        --
        "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:48PM (#666924)

      You seem to imply his switch is related to a loss of morals on his part. In exchange for benefits.

      I will tell you though that at least how marijuana laws came to be in 37’ (if memory serves) and how Nixon furthered the propaganda by using them as a powerful wedge between the dark skinned and the white skinned (given usage rates back then) that it is indeed moral to move away from those laws.

      Here in Houston most of my redneck friends smoke pot. 60% or so regularly. However like in pulp fiction we know it is largely legal in our part of town. Save for highway travel cops don’t search our cars. Etc.

      Glad to see our fellow Americans are seeing what I have enjoyed since I was a kid in the 80s. Smoking weed without fear.

      My two encounters with the law in Oklahoma as a kid lead to nothing. Although one was 4oz and could have. But it was simply confiscated along with our 3 ice chests of beer in the back of our pickup. Cop got almost 3 cases of beer (6.0 from Kansas) and our bottle of southern comfort before we got to the river bonfire. Meh. But we had no fear of jail. Cops simply told us if the caught us out that night we would be arrested. Well they never found us at 5mile. And our friends had plenty for us when we arrived.

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:06PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:06PM (#666927)

      Is he still an invertebrate?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @08:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @08:00PM (#667010)

        might have evolved into a lamprey?

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:50PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:50PM (#666944)

      Let that be a lesson to everyone. Very little involving humans is unalterable, even your most deeply professed beliefs. Odds are you'll stop believing them (or at least rationalize yourself an exception) as soon as it becomes inconvenient for you. Moral fiber is not something we've encouraged in this nation for quite a while.

      People will change beliefs.

      People will die for their convictions.

      Convictions are something not commonly seen these days.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @03:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @03:07PM (#666949)

        Convictions are something not commonly seen these days.

        Patience. Mueller is working on that.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:41PM

      by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:41PM (#666963) Homepage Journal

      Moral fiber is not something we've encouraged in this nation for quite a while.

      It seems to me that "moral fiber" is not what I've been relying on when I've been wrong. The correct terms would be some combination of stupidity, ignorance, and stubbornness. I'd just as soon root that crap out, too.

      Let that be a lesson to everyone.

      The lesson I take from this is that Boehner didn't have a leg to stand on other than political and financial convenience. That landscape has changed, but there's no reliable indication he has. He's still Doing What's Best Best For John Boehner. The fact that it's less bad for most people is just lucky for us.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Saturday April 14 2018, @05:37PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 14 2018, @05:37PM (#666977) Journal

      Let that be a lesson to everyone. Very little involving humans is unalterable,

      Positions of politicians change (often too slowly) to the positions of their constituents. Stances taken in the past change with the times, and the evidence.

      This is the way is SHOULD work. Why did it take 50 years?

      As the states with some form of marijuana access increase, (Invariably by voter choice) it is clear that the government will have no choice but to follow along or be replaced.

      When 35 states allow legal marijauna of some form, its game over for the prohibitionists. Currently there are 30 such states. [governing.com]. At that point a straight up vote in congress could remove federal government control, leaving each state to do as it pleases, and collect the taxes that it generates.

      The feds see that cash flow, and you can bet they want in on that tax action.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by idiot_king on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:33PM (3 children)

    by idiot_king (6587) on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:33PM (#666918)

    Even I know that RINOs are shapeshifters. Kasich (gov. of Ohio) says he doesn't support legalization. He'll change his tune once he's out of office.

    • (Score: 2) by idiot_king on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:39PM (2 children)

      by idiot_king (6587) on Saturday April 14 2018, @01:39PM (#666919)

      Just a clarification: All Rethuglicans are RINOs anyway. They're hypocrites, etc etc.

      • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:56PM (1 child)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 14 2018, @04:56PM (#666968) Homepage

        You'll become a Rethuglican after we bus all of the illegals over to your Poz parties and you watch your property values drop faster than your T-cell count, mister Antoine Maryweather.

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @06:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 14 2018, @06:06PM (#666985)

          San Diego is filled with illegals and I can say the property values are still stupid high. You sir are a moron, but hey welcome back! Did the court let you out early?

  • (Score: 5, Touché) by deadstick on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:57PM (1 child)

    by deadstick (5110) on Saturday April 14 2018, @02:57PM (#666946)

    Oh, marvelous. He promised. I feel much better now...

  • (Score: 1) by noneof_theabove on Saturday April 14 2018, @10:48PM (2 children)

    by noneof_theabove (6189) on Saturday April 14 2018, @10:48PM (#667081)

    I will support legalizing weed if you walk through my brain-dead judges for life appointments.

    Politics smolitics that is BLACKMAIL.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday April 14 2018, @10:58PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Saturday April 14 2018, @10:58PM (#667082) Journal

      Normally, a Republican would have no trouble confirming a Republican President's DOJ nominees. Clearly, Gardner had the power here. It might have helped that it was a position that Trump took during the campaign, and probably only backed away from due to the whisperings of Sessions, or heck, maybe President "Kill All the Drug Dealers" Duterte.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:29AM

      by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Sunday April 15 2018, @11:29AM (#667237)

      "Politics smolitics that is BLACKMAIL."

      In other words, business as usual?

      Joking aside, this does not qualify as blackmail.. Number 5 is close, but to consider this applicable, you would have to consider any compromise to be blackmail. As there is no forcing here, just a refusal to make life easier for the opposition party, this is not blackmail. They can always choose to tell him to fuck off and it changes nothing. There is no coercion for the same reason. No consequence for telling him no.

      BLACKMAIL

      noun
      1.
      any payment extorted by intimidation, as by threats of injurious revelations or accusations.
      2.
      the extortion of such payment:
      He confessed rather than suffer the dishonor of blackmail.
      3.
      a tribute formerly exacted in the north of England and in Scotland by freebooting chiefs for protection from pillage.
      verb (used with object)
      4.
      to extort money from (a person) by the use of threats.
      5.
      to force or coerce into a particular action, statement, etc.:
      The strikers claimed they were blackmailed into signing the new contract.

      --
      The Trump Presidency, an attempt to make Nixon look respectable......
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @09:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16 2018, @09:53AM (#667561)

    It's not about you and your Boehner.

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