Ever since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions began ranting and raving last year about launching a federal marijuana crackdown, the cannabis community has been on high alert. You know, this is when you get really stoned and start peeking out the living room window every five minutes to see if the cops have shown up yet to drag you to jail.
Although President Trump’s leading law enforcement hammer has given no indication as to how he plans to approach such a massive pot bust across America, the cannabis industry and its stoned customer base have sort of envisioned that this prohibition tactic might shake out to mean death and destruction for the entire scene.
Fortunately, nothing representative of the apotcalypse appears to be on the horizon for the majority of marijuana users in the United States. It turns out that Sessions plans to leave most of the cannabis community alone.
The attorney general said over the weekend that federal prosecutors wouldn’t take down small time pot offenders as part of the Justice Department’s agenda to destroy the black market drug trade. Instead, these clenched-fisted suits dangling off the arm of Lady Justice will only work to rid the Land of the Free of drug gangs and other unsavory, dope-slinging characters.
But this is not a new policy. Sessions reiterated during his speech before a group of students at Georgetown’s law school that federal law enforcement has never really concerned itself with small time pot cases. He explained that the governmental grind simply does not come equipped with the resources to get into the business of burying potheads under prisons.
But in typical Sessions’ fashion, he did not waste time pointing out that all of this legal weed business taking place in parts of the country is on thin ice with Uncle Sam.
“I am not going to tell Colorado or California or someone else that possession of marijuana is legal under United States law,” Sessions told a student. But, he went on to say that federal prosecutors “haven’t been working small marijuana cases before, they are not going to be working them now.”
But this does not mean that some law-abiding citizens are not at risk for prosecution. Even in legal marijuana states, anyone growing or selling weed is in violation of federal law. It is conceivable that the Justice Department could eventually draft a plan to shut down legal marijuana states. But even Sessions admits that this is not likely to happen. He said last year that there wasn’t enough money in Uncle Sam’s piggy bank to fight against legal weed. Instead, he has directed federal prosecutors to go for the jugular in drug cases.
Luckily, it is rare that the average pot user gets caught up in the kind of trouble that prompts a spanking by a federal judge.
Still, most marijuana users are not safe from prosecution. State and local law enforcement agencies in areas of prohibition are still giving the stoner class redneck beat downs every chance they get.
Some of the latest statistics show that more people are arrested each year for weed than the combination of all violent crime.
In 2016 alone, around 1.5 million people went to jail for marijuana. A large percentage of these busts were for petty pot possession. This means there are plenty of cannabis users at risk of being corralled for social slaughter in the criminal justice system.