crime

Trump Administration Opens Hunt On Marijuana

President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions is finalizing a report that liberal criminal justice advocates fear will link marijuana to violent crime and will recommend higher sentences for people selling, growing or smoking marijuana.

In April Sessions sent a memo updating the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice Department (DOJ) heads about the task force should accomplish through various subcommittees. Sessions also said he wanted initial recommendations before July 27.

“Task Force subcommittees will also undertake a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities,” Sessions wrote.

For many criminal justice reformers, this is a sign that stricter enforcement is ahead.

“The task force revolves around reducing violent crime and Sessions and other DOJ officials have been out there over the last month and explicitly the last couple of weeks talking about how immigration and marijuana increase violent crime,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program.

 

“The task force revolves around reducing violent crime and Sessions and other DOJ officials have been out there over the last month and explicitly the last couple of weeks talking about how immigration and marijuana increase violent crime,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program.

“We’re worried there’s going to be something in the recommendations that is either saying that that’s true or recommending action be taken based on that being true.”

Sessions sent a letter in May asking congressional leaders to do away with an amendment to the DOJ budget prohibiting the agency from using federal funds to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Many Police Chiefs think a crackdown will be next, though they still think there is no need for this. They believe marijuana is not a drug that is driving violent crime in America. Crack and powdered cocaine and opioids are much more dangerous. 8 states and the District of Colombia have recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana and another 21 states allow the use of medical marijuana. Still, the use of the plant is illegal under federal laws.

 

Article credit: The Hill

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