Blog

Pelosi Defends Limited Government and ‘States’ Rights’—On Legalized Marijuana

CNSNews.com Staff
By CNSNews.com Staff | January 4, 2018 | 4:59 PM EST

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Screen Capture)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) issued a statement today attacking what she characterized as an over-reach by the federal government and defending what she described as "states’ rights" when it comes to the legalization of marijuana.

Pelosi was reacting to a memorandum that Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent to all U.S. attorneys  today reminding them that they have the authority under existing federal law to prosecute people for the “cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijunan.”

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision bulldozes over the will of the American people and insults the democratic process under which majorities of voters in California and in states across the nation supported decriminalization at the ballot box,” Pelosi said in her statement. “Yet again, Republicans expose their utter hypocrisy in paying lip-service to states’ rights while trampling over laws they personally dislike.”

She called for Congress to enact legislation to protect people “who legally use marijuana” from federal prosecution.

In his memo to the U.S. attorneys, Sessions said: “In the Controlled Substances Act, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession or marijuana. It has established significant penalties for these crimes. These activities also may serve as the basis for the prosecution of other crimes, such as those prohibited by the money laundering statutes, the unlicensed money transmitter statute, and the Bank Secrecy Act. These statutes reflect the determination that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that marijuana is a serious crime.”

“The Department of Justice today issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents,” DOJ said in a press release. “Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana.”

Here is the full text of Pelosi’s statement:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision bulldozes over the will of the American people and insults the democratic process under which majorities of voters in California and in states across the nation supported decriminalization at the ballot box.  Yet again, Republicans expose their utter hypocrisy in paying lip-service to states’ rights while trampling over laws they personally dislike.

“Congress must now take action to ensure that state law is respected, and that Americans who legally use marijuana are not subject to federal prosecution.  Democrats will continue to insist on bipartisan provisions in appropriations bills that protect Americans lawfully using medical marijuana.  Congress should now consider expanding the provisions to cover those states that have decriminalized marijuana generally.

“Democrats urge Attorney General Sessions to begin the New Year with a commitment to prosecute the real crimes devastating our nation, not to waste precious time and resources waging a pointless, unjust war against innocent Americans.”

 


Please support CNSNews today! (a 501c3 non-profit production of the Media Research Center)

DONATE