Republican politicians are opposing Jeff Sessions' anti-pot move, too

Republican politicians are opposing Jeff Sessions' anti-pot move, too

VicesJanuary 08, 2018 By Reilly Capps

Now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is dropping some of the Obama-era protections of states' marijuana legalisations, it's had an odd effect ...

Republican representatives are supporting legal weed.

Not all Republicans. Not even most of them. But a number of Republicans, many of them from red states — from Alaska to Florida, Iowa to Arkansas —  has ripped old man Sessions' move.

For example, Republican congress member Carlos Curbelo of Florida said it's time for congress to pass "meaningful legislation" that "honors states' rights." Republican congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said, "Congress should act" and "it should be up to the states."

What's more: many Republicans aren't just saying they're down for changing federal law on weed. They're actually taking steps to do so.

After Sessions' announcement, Republican Rod Blum of Iowa said he is now co-sponsoring the "Respect State Marijuana Laws" bill.

There's already a huge list of proposed bills trying to switch up the government's hater-ish stance against marijuana; many are co-sponsored by Republicans. Republican Justin Amash of Michigan reiterated that "marijuana shouldn't be federally criminalized." Amash previously sponsored a bill to end federal marijuana prohibition, along with several other Republicans.

Yes! Up is down. Black is white. Day is night. And after Sessions' tone-deaf move, the party of "Just Say No" and the War on Drugs is now screaming: leave my weed alone!

They're following their voters. In October, for the first time, a majority of people who identify as Republican said they supported marijuana legalization

In some ways, marijuana liberalization is the issue with the most bipartisan support in America.

Yet no Republican has been as fiery as Colorado's Cory Gardner — someone who once opposed marijuana legalization in his home state. But now the conservative from the conservative Colorado Springs area with the conservative haircut has gone all mad-as-hell-and-not-gonna-take-it-anymore on marijuana.

Gardner stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and basically accused Jeff Sessions of lying, then scolded him like a misbehaving schoolboy.

"Before his confirmation as Attorney General, then-senator Sessions told me that marijuana simply wasn't going to be on President Trump's agenda, that it was something they weren't going to deal with," Gardner said, sputtering and jabbing a finger at the lectern. "And without any conversation, notification or dialog with congress, completely reversed!"

Then he promised to dig the spurs of his cowboy boots deep into the ground to stop Sessions.

"I will be putting a hold on every single nomination from the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions lives up to the commitment he made to me in my pre-confirmation meeting with him," Gardner fumed.

That's basically saying to Sessions: you can't have your ball back until you play by the rules. 

In this era, when the two parties can't even agree on the color of the sky, left and right are coming together to ram Sessions' move back down his throat.

Colorado's congressional delegation — both Democratic and Republican — are working on a joint plan to protect the state's fastest-growing industry and reverse what Sessions did. They conference called last week and are re-convening this week to fine tune their strategy. 

The Sessions memo "lit a fire under a lot of people,” congress member Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat, told the Denver Post.

Some pot watchers are saying that Sessions' move makes national legalization more likely, not less.

Threatened by Sessions, the Senators from the 29 states with medical marijuana will join hands and support one of the bills currently in congress — perhaps New Jersey senator Cory Booker's — to legalize weed, the thinking goes. And legalization — not a crackdown — might be the result of last week's bad news for weed.