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Congress Gives Jeff Sessions $0 To Go After Medical Marijuana Laws

May 2, 2017 • 12:26 PM EDT
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3 MIN READ  •  By Michael Berger
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The budget bill that passed to prevent a government shutdown contained a provision known as the Rohraqbacher-Farr amendment, which has United States cannabis business owners breathing a sigh of relief.

The provision will make sure that no portion of Department of Justice’s budget will be allowed to be used to attempt to fight state laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana.

The provision says the government will not allocate any funds to the Department of Justice to prevent any [states] from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Administration Does Not Understand Cannabis’ Medical Benefits

The new White House administration, especially Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have had some harsh words for the cannabis industry. The Trump administration is much less open to medical cannabis than the Obama administration and we continue to monitor developments closely.

In February, Sean Spicer attempted to link the surge in opioid abuse to recreational cannabis. He said that under the Trump administration, he expects states to face greater enforcement of federal laws against cannabis.

A few weeks later, Attorney General Sessions publicly attacked the cannabis legalization movement twice. Sessions said cannabis legalization should be resisted and he discounted any scientific evidence that supports its medical benefits. He also said that cannabis is only slightly less awful than heroin.

Does Not Protect States with Recreational Cannabis

The legislation does not prevent Attorney General Sessions from focusing on the eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational marijuana by exploring any technicalities or loopholes in the budget bill.

The United States legal cannabis industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry that employs thousands of people and we believe the concerns created by Attorney General Sessions are overdone and without justification.

The United States is in too much debt to try and shut down an industry that continues to be the fastest growing industry in the world.

Joe Rogan said it Best

Sessions has been on record stating, “I’m definitely not a fan of expanded use of marijuana. States they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” Let’s not forget that Sessions campaigns in the 1990’s were largely backed by contributions from big tobacco, and he was on record as calling the law suits put against the industry for deceptive advertising and false health claims as “shakedowns” and “extortion”.

No one has ever overdosed from consuming cannabis but every year more than half a million people die from alcohol and tobacco.

Joe Rogan said it best: “The only reason why marijuana is illegal is because of economics. If marijuana was legal, it would cost pharmaceutical and alcohol companies billions of dollars every year.  The Partnership for a Drug-Free Amrica is funded by alcohol companies. Alcohol is a sanctioned drug!”

A sad truth of today’s society is that billion dollar industries have more influence on public policy than the people. Although the fight for legal medical marijuana will continue to be an uphill battle, the passing of the budget bill helps alleviate many of the industry’s concerns. 

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Authored By

Michael Berger

Michael Berger is Managing Partner of StoneBridge Partners, LLC and Founder of Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Michael was an Equity Research Analyst at Raymond James Financial covering the Energy Sector. Michael has been featured in publications such as The Street, Bloomberg, US Money News, and hosts various cannabis events across North America.


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