Newton's Third Law of Cannabis: For Every Action...
After the announcement of the Sessions Memo yesterday, a quick visit to Physics Classroom eased our mind:
"Formally stated, Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object."
And so we waited for the reactions...
In the Memo titled "Marijuana Enforcement", the Attorney General rescinded the three Cole Memos and the Wilkinson Memo, and directed "... all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country."
Reaction: Reaction from cannabis companies has been predictably shrill - many have been readied themselves for such combat for years. No less resolute but more diplomatic has been the reaction by legislators:
California State Senate Leader Kevin de León said, “There should be no doubt that President Trump has officially declared war on California.”
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper said: “Thirty states comprising more than two thirds of the American people have legalized marijuana in some form. The Cole memo got it right and was foundational in guiding states’ efforts to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Colorado has created a comprehensive regulatory system committed to supporting the will of our voters. We constantly evaluate and seek to strengthen our approach to regulation and enforcement. Our focus will continue to be the public health and public safety of our citizens. We are expanding efforts to eliminate the black market and keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and criminals. Today’s decision does not alter the strength of our resolve in those areas, nor does it change my constitutional responsibilities.”
Oregon Governor Kate Brown "...defended the state's efforts to curb illegal activity under its recreational and medical cannabis programs, and touted 19,000 jobs and $100 million in revenue she says the state has benefitted from. Should the program be threatened, Brown said she and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum are prepared to pursue "all legal options available to us."
US Attorney for Oregon General Billy Williams said his office will "will continue working with our federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners to pursue shared public safety objectives, with an emphasis on stemming the overproduction of marijuana and the diversion of marijuana out of state, dismantling criminal organizations and thwarting violent crime in our communities.”
As reported in the Washington Post, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner tweeted: "“This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states. I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation.”
Nevada Senator Dean Heller was quoted as saying: “Knowing Attorney General Sessions' deference to states' rights, I strongly encourage the DOJ to meet with Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt to discuss the implications of changes to federal marijuana enforcement policy. I also urge the DOJ to work with the congressional delegations from states like Nevada that have legalized marijuana as they review and navigate the new policy.”
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted in a more measured tone: "“Over the past year I repeatedly discouraged Attorney General Sessions from taking this action and asked that he work with the states and Congress if he feels changes are necessary. Today's announcement is disruptive to state regulatory regimes and regrettable.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul weighed in on the states' rights issue: "“I continue to believe that this is a states’ rights issue, and the federal government has better things to focus on.”
On his website, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher came out swinging (perhaps he's been reading the American CAnnabis Report?): Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.)“The attorney general of the United States has just delivered an extravagant holiday gift to the drug cartels. By attacking the will of the American people, who overwhelmingly favor marijuana legalization, Jeff Sessions has shown a preference for allowing all commerce in marijuana to take place in the black market, which will inevitably bring the spike in violence he mistakenly attributes to marijuana itself. He is doing the bidding of an out-of-date law enforcement establishment that wants to wage a perpetual weed war and seize private citizens’ property in order to finance its backward ambitions.”
This story is breaking... The American Cannabis Report will update with new information as it arises.