What happens next in regards to marijuana policy is unclear. We can engage in speculation as much as we’d like, but ultimately theorizing on whether or not Sessions will leverage the resources of the Department of Justice to enforce the federal prohibition of marijuana will be discovered soon enough.
For now, we must reflect on the achievements that we have made as a movement which now must be protected and continue to pursue further progress, be it at the state or federal level.
Currently, states that have implemented medical marijuana programs are technically protected from the Department of Justice under the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, however that is set to expire on April 27th unless renewed as a part of the appropriations process.
Jeff Sessions’ history in regards to marijuana policy, including making statements like “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” and “[Marijuana] cannot be played with, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don’t smoke marijuana” are a serious reason for concern and highlight the need to remain vigilant.
During his confirmation process, marijuana legalization supporters with NORML made thousands of phone calls and sent tens of thousands of emails regarding Sessions plans for marijuana policy. While we lost the battle, we continue to win the war.
Our Senators, now more than ever, know this is an issue at the forefront of the minds of American voters and that we are willing and able to mobilize for it. In fact, four Senators referenced Sessions’ position on marijuana as a reason to oppose his nomination during an all night “talk-a-thon” to delay todays vote.
We will never stop fighting for further reforms at the state level and needed federal policy changes. With NORML members throughout the country organizing lobby days and taking direct action, the fight for cannabis freedom will continue with renewed energy.
NORML has resisted marijuana prohibition for 47 years – We’re not going to stop now.
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