Pressure Increases on California Lawmakers to Fight the Feds for Cannabis
There’s no question that right now things are very heated in Washington, D.C., particularly for representatives from western states which vote heavily Democrat and definitely are not fans of Donald Trump. A lot of discussion has occurred around asserting states’ rights in the face of environmental de-regulation and other causes states such as California, Oregon, and Washington care passionately about which are opposed to the current administration. Some ardent activists even would like to see these three states separate altogether from the political federation which is the United States.
Complete secession is a highly unlikely scenario, and barring that, we still must use our institutional infrastructures of democracy and rely on our U.S. Senators and Representatives to push forward the agendas most meaningful to us, their constituents. For the people of California, cannabis prohibition is near the top of their list of grievances. And though this is the case, long-entrenched politicians have moved at a turtle’s pace to defend this strong will of the people. Specifically, the state’s Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have remained unwilling to support legislation to address cannabis’ illegal status.
Now, a bipartisan group of ten California members of the U.S. House who are more willing to take a bold stand on cannabis, has issued a formal letter calling on Senators Feinstein and Harris to follow the lead of Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) to block nominations to Justice Department until Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinstates the Cole Memo, the recently rescinded federal guideline for state-legal cannabis operations.
“While Feinstein has long been one of Congress’ most ardent opponents of marijuana legalization, Harris has in recent weeks repeatedly criticized the move by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to tear up Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed states to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.
“But despite tweeting a lot about marijuana and starting an online petition on the issue through which her campaign apparatus is able to collect e-mail addresses, Harris hasn’t yet added her name as a cosponsor of a single one of the various cannabis reform bills her Senate colleagues have introduced.
“Now, the House members, led by Reps. Lou Correa (D) and Dana Rohrabacher (R), are asking her and Feinstein to prevent Sessions from being able to confirm new U.S. attorneys or other Justice Department nominees until he reverses the anti-marijuana move.”