It’s been less than a month since the Massachusetts District Attorney Andrew Lelling got sworn into the office, and since then he has sent some very mixed signals regarding his policy on cannabis.
Now it seems that in the USA, nobody really knows what is going on with cannabis legislation and laws.
The United States of Whatever-policy-they-say-goes
Jeff Sessions keeps switching his mind on marijuana regulation and has recently taken up a defensive posture as he is expected to be seen in court for the case against a 14-year old Colorado girl over medical marijuana.
It just seems like politicians are being pulled left and right by unknown forces regarding their opinion on marijuana.
In fact, over 50 US congressmen have sent a letter to President Trump urging him to uphold his campaign promises when it comes to pot.
However, the story of the month in US politics has to be Andrew Lelling, Massachusetts District Attorney who got sworn into his office not even 5 weeks ago.
In the 32 days that he’s been in the office, he has strongly supported Attorney General Sessions in his fight against cannabis and followed it up by casting a voice for cannabis by pushing for less opioids.
Here is an excerpt from Lelling’s first public statement on federal legislation of cannabis:
In accordance with the Attorney General’s statement today, this office will pursue federal marijuana crimes as part of its overall approach to reducing violent crime, stemming the tide of the drug crisis…our office will aggressively investigate and prosecute bulk cultivation and trafficking cases, and those who use the federal banking system illegally.
This announcement came right after AG Sessions’ announcement that he will be retracting the Obama-era Cole Memo which gave states with legal cannabis protection from federal prosecution.
But, since then, AG Sessions has received a huge backlash from both the public and media, as well as his fellow politicians on both sides of the ballot.
Ultimately, Sessions left the actual decision whether the District Attorneys, such as Lelling, will prosecute these states up to the District Attorneys themselves.
Lelling said afterward that he cannot guarantee immunity from federal prosecution for anyone involved in a marijuana business.
“I can’t do that,” Lelling said. “I’m not allowed to do that. So I won’t do that.”
Somehow, Lelling makes it sound as if he’d liked to be able to do it, but he is being forced not to by this invisible hand.
DA Lelling did not that his office has only 14 prosecutors, all of which are focused on prosecuting opioid and heroin-related cases.
So, does Lelling actually not want to prosecute marijuana and cases including cannabinoids which aren’t strictly illegal? Probably. In fact, most likely.
Lelling said that he personally sympathizes with state and local officials who want clarity on marijuana. However, the problem is that he simply can’t give it to them.
Prosecuting marijuana cases is getting tougher by each day as we are inevitably coming closer to some form of legalization on a federal level. This much is evident to everyone following the process last couple of years.