Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being attacked on both sides of the aisle for rescinding the Obama policy that opened the floodgates to marijuana addiction. Funded by libertarian billionaires such as the Koch brothers, pro-pot senators like Cory Gardner are demanding that AG Sessions stand down and continue Obama’s misguided policy.
Sessions rescinded Obama’s command that the Department of Justice ignore federal law against marijuana production and sales, and instead Sessions instructed U.S. Attorneys to begin enforcing well-established federal statutes against large-scale cultivation and distribution of marijuana. These federal laws preempt state law, particularly in Colorado and California where a culture of pot addiction has virtually taken over.
Sessions wrote on January 4th that “today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs 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.”
That hardly seems controversial, but money talks and politicians beholden to mega-donors went ballistic in response. Sen. Cory Gardner, who heads the misguided fundraising arm of Republican senators, even took to the Senate floor to rant against Sessions for wanting to enforce the law.
Sen. Gardner is the same guy who is pushing the agenda of the same mega-donors to enact amnesty for certain illegal aliens, wanted for their cheap labor. Yet every time Gardner opens his mouth he makes it more difficult for Republicans in Congress to hold onto their majority in the upcoming midterm elections, because American voters reject Republican candidates who support either amnesty or legalized pot.
New Year’s Day rang in the sale of pot in retail stores in California, which expands the hazards it poses to the public there. In addition, anyone over the age of 21 may smoke pot on private property now in California, simply to get high over and over again.
This push for pot is not really coming from the freedom-loving culture of rock music. Instead, like gambling, legalizing pot is driven by a multi-decade campaign of investors seeking to profit from cannabis, as it’s now being advertised for marketing purposes.
First it was sold to the American people under the guise of “medical marijuana,” and predictably anyone with a little back or joint pain was obtaining prescriptions to get high. The strategy was to open the door to the inevitable recreational use by anyone, which is occurring now in eight states.
This is too much even for rock fans, as California's popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival recently responded to the legalization of marijuana by banning it at its concerts: “Sorry bro. Marijuana and marijuana products aren’t allowed inside the … Festival. Even in 2018 and beyond.”
If concerts won’t allow smoking pot, why do the rest of us have to put up with its pungent odor and harmful consequences? Costly emergency room visits by “potheads” and deadly car accidents are just two of the burdens that rampant marijuana addiction brings to our society.
Among traffic fatalities in Colorado when operators were tested for marijuana, 25 percent of those crashes had an operator who tested positive for the drug. This is a sharp increase since marijuana was legalized there, and the real number may be higher because unlike alcohol there is no close correlation between impairment and tissue levels.
Although supposedly limited to adults, marijuana use by youths between 12 and 17 years old, and college-age adults between 18 and 25, has risen sharply in Colorado since pot was legalized there four years ago. Now Colorado has the highest rate of marijuana use by youths in the country, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.
Meanwhile, the town of Pueblo, Colorado, is buckling under the expense of “marijuana migrants,” attracted to the town’s pro-marijuana publicity. Instead of finding real work, however, these marijuana migrants live mostly in boxes, resorting to buckets as toilets.
Billionaire George Soros has been behind the push to legalize marijuana around the country, but the problem now is that he has been joined by a few billionaires associated with the right side of the political spectrum. They are misleading GOP politicians to make the colossal mistake of embracing this leftist agenda item.
Starved for money to finance their campaigns for office in 2018, hopeful Republican candidates will feel the pressure to cave in to pro-pot demands of mega-donors. But while Democrats can get away with that, Republican candidates surely cannot.
The vast majority of our country, and particularly working-class Republicans, reject the legalization of marijuana with all of its harmful consequences. Republican candidates for office who go along with the demands of billionaire donors to endorse their pro-pot agenda will see their own candidacies go up in smoke among voters.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously in 2016.