Democrats push bills to blunt a crack­down on le­gal state pot

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - — Tom How­ell Jr.

Se­nate Democrats on Thurs­day urged Congress to pass leg­is­la­tion that bars fed­eral au­thor­i­ties from in­ter­fer­ing with med­i­cal mar­i­juana pro­grams, say­ing the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion ap­pears to be ready­ing a crack­down on life-chang­ing cannabis care.

Bi­par­ti­san bills in the House and Se­nate would al­low pa­tients to ac­cess med­i­cal mar­i­juana in states that al­low it with­out fear of pros­e­cu­tion, as the drug re­mains il­le­gal un­der fed­eral law.

“The fact is our mar­i­juana laws in Amer­ica are bro­ken,” said Sen. Cory A. Booker, New Jer­sey Demo­crat. “They are sav­agely bro­ken, and the jagged pieces are hurt­ing Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

Congress in re­cent years has tried to bar the Jus­tice De­part­ment from us­ing fed­eral funds to pros­e­cute med­i­cal mar­i­juana users and providers in the states. Yet U.S. at­tor­neys have in­ter­preted the pro­hi­bi­tion in var­i­ous ways, and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions last month asked Congress for a stronger hand in prose­cut­ing providers.

“I be­lieve it would be un­wise for Congress to re­strict the dis­cre­tion of the De­part­ment to fund par­tic­u­lar pros­e­cu­tions, par­tic­u­larly in the midst of an his­toric drug epi­demic and po­ten­tially long-term uptick in vi­o­lent crime,” Mr. Ses­sions wrote in a May 1 let­ter to House and Se­nate lead­ers. “The De­part­ment must be in a po­si­tion to use all laws avail­able to com­bat the transna­tional drug or­ga­ni­za­tions and dan­ger­ous drug traf­fick­ers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.