jeff sessions

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Votes to Legalize Marijuana


5,871 miles of open Pacific Ocean waters separate the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) from the coast of California. But the 15-island chain that makes up the United States’ westernmost territory is poised to do something no U.S. state has ever done.

On Wednesday, 18 of CNMI’s 20 legislators voted to approve a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use. The bill would also legalize medical cannabis and industrial hemp. And if CNMI Governor Ralph Torres enacts the bill, the territory will make legalization history—twice.

CNMI Would Be First U.S. Jurisdiction to Go From Total Prohibition to Full Legalization

This isn’t the first time CNMI lawmakers attempted to legalize cannabis. As recently as May, the CNMI Senate approved a piece of legislation nearly identical to the House-approved bill. Procedural issues, however, stymied the bill’s progress.

After another false start in the Senate, the House opted to file its own bill. It took less than a week for the full chamber to vote to approve the proposal.


That act alone makes CNMI unique among the 9 U.S. states that have legalized adult-use marijuana. Vermont comes closest, having legalized marijuana through a legislative process rather than a ballot initiative. But unlike CNMI’s proposed legislation, Vermont’s law doesn’t establish a retail market. The Mariana Islands’ legislation would.

There’s a second way CNMI would make legalization history if the bill becomes law. Every U.S. state that has legalized adult-use marijuana did so only after establishing a medical cannabis program. But in CNMI, there is no medical marijuana. The territory would be the first U.S. jurisdiction to go from total prohibition to full legalization.

What’s Next for Legal Cannabis in U.S. Territories?

Despite the tremendous distance between the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the continental United States, the territory has been closely watching legal cannabis unfold there. Indeed, the overwhelming support for the proposal in the House is due to lawmakers’ recognizing the significant benefits of legal weed.


The full text of the legislation, SB 20-62, cites how states with regulated markets for marijuana “have observed real and significant benefits to public health, safety and quality of life for all residents,” and goes on to list medical benefits like treatments for pain, epilepsy and PTSD, social benefits like a reduction in overdose deaths and lowered crime and economic benefits like tax revenue and job growth.

But the bill still has a couple more hurdles to clear before it becomes law. The CNMI Cannabis Act of 2018 is currently on its way back to the Senate for approval. After that, it will head to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres, a Republican who has expressed concerns about legalization.

In response to House passage of the bill, Torres stressed the importance of taking “a look at both sides of the coin.” Torres wondered about the crime statistics in states with legal weed and other public safety issues.


Whether those reservations would ultimately lead Gov. Torres to veto the legislative effort and oppose the will of CNMI residents, however, remains to be seen. Public hearings about the act had higher attendance than any hearings senators could remember. Initially, legislators had designed the bill as a voter referendum before adopting it in the Senate.

Utah’s ‘Right to Try’ Medical Marijuana Bill is Officially in Effect


Utah’s ‘Right to Try’ medical marijuana bill officially went into effect yesterday. But under the new law, only terminally ill patients will have access to medicinal cannabis.

House Bill 195 (HB195) allows terminally ill patients to possess and use marijuana for medical use. The measure adds medicinal cannabis to the auspices of 2015’s Right to Try Act. That law allows patients with a terminal illness to use medical treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). HB195 officially adds medical marijuana as one of the experimental treatments allowed under the Right to Try Act.



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The Utah Senate easily passed HB 195 on March 7 by a vote of 19-3. The House of Representatives then approved the measure 40-26 on March 20 and sent it to Governor Gary Herbert, who signed the bill into law.

Companion Bill Also Becomes Law

Another new measure, House Bill 197 (HB197), also went into effect yesterday. A companion to HB195, this law authorizes the establishment of a medicinal cannabis cultivation program in the state.

However, HB197 had a more difficult road to approval by the state legislature. Like HB195, it also cleared the Senate without difficulty, by a margin of 20-5.


In the House, bills must receive at least 38 votes (a majority of the body’s 75 members) to pass. HB197 failed to receive approval on an initial vote, with a tally in favor by 36-34 votes.

But a motion to reconsider was approved, resuscitating the measure. Before a second vote, Rep. Brad Daw, the sponsor of both HB195 and HB197, told his fellow lawmakers that patients need both bills.

“This bill becomes the way to supply a genuine cannabis medicine for both those programs. We need to pass this bill if we want to have patients the ability to try both under Right to Try and under research,” Daw said.

New Law May Be Irrelevant Soon

But the two laws that went into effect yesterday may soon be a moot point. A much broader initiative legalizing medical marijuana appears to be heading for November’s ballot.

Organizers of the campaign for the Utah Medical Cannabis Act have already turned in enough signatures to qualify for the election. The Utah Patients Coalition gathered more than 40,000 signatures in excess of the 113,143 necessary.


The Utah Medical Cannabis Act, if successful, would allow patients with a list of specific serious medical conditions to use medical marijuana. The bill also allows for the creation of a legalized cultivation and distribution infrastructure and regulatory framework to manage it. The bill limits patients to two ounces of marijuana or 10 grams of THC or CBD per 14 day period. Smoking marijuana and driving under the influence would still be prohibited. Far more patients would qualify for medical marijuana under the initiative.

However, the measure has not officially qualified for the ballot just yet. And an anti-pot group is hoping to keep it that way. Drug Safe Utah has begun a drive to convince people who have signed petitions to now remove their names from petitions. If enough signers change their minds, the initiative could fail to qualify for the ballot after all.

Seattle Municipal Court Asked To Vacate Hundreds of Marijuana Charges


Following a new trend in decriminalization, the Seattle municipal court has been asked to vacate hundreds of marijuana charges from up to thirty years ago. Philadelphia made a similar move when District Attorney Larry Krasner announced that his office dropped 51 marijuana charges. Both decisions may have been inspired by San Francisco’s District Attorney who was the first to dismiss thousands of marijuana convictions.

Why Are Cities Dropping Marijuana Charges?

San Francisco was motivated to undo the wrongdoings of the past. That’s when they lifted thousands of marijuana charges dating back to 1975. It would have been hypocritical to allow recreational cannabis to be sold in stores while people continue to suffer from mere possession.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes believes dismissing marijuana possession cases will best serve the “interests of equity and justice” in his city. When he became City Attorney he vowed to stop all prosecution of marijuana possession cases.

“As we see marijuana sold in retail storefronts today, people who simply had a joint in their pocket a decade ago still have a red mark on their record,” Holmes told The Stranger.

One of the main motivating factors in San Francisco was the racial disparity in convictions. Holmes also cited the adverse impact marijuana arrests have had on people of color.


“It’s long past time we remedy the drug policies of yesteryear, and this one small step to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color. I’m hopeful the court will choose to clear these charges.”

In Philadelphia, District Attorney Larry Krasner told reporters dropping marijuana possession charges would free police resources to “solve homicides.”

Washington residents voted to legalize recreational cannabis way back in 2012. According to the Washington Department of Health, there are over one hundred licensed cannabis retailers. There are also “medically endorsed stores.” So far cities in California, Pennsylvania and Washington have chosen to expunge the records of those who were punished for cannabis possession.

Dropping hundreds of marijuana possession charges is a start but there is still plenty of damage to be undone in the rest of the country. Despite the rhetoric of Jeff Sessions, the gears of legalization and decriminalization continue to turn.


In fact, the city of Baton Rouge also loosened their penalties for marijuana charges to prevent more communities of color being destroyed. The city of Albuquerque also met to discuss marijuana legislation.

Senators Take On Jeff Sessions Over Marijuana Research Restrictions


Bipartisan senators take on Jeff Sessions over marijuana research restrictions, calling for the Justice Department to stop blocking the DEA from approving new suppliers. On Thursday, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the DOJ demanding action on the more than two dozen applications the DEA has yet to review.

Is Jeff Sessions Blocking The DEA From Authorizing More Marijuana Suppliers?

In their letter, Harris and Hatch expressed concern that Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department was sitting on a number of requests from growers looking to supply FDA-approved research on medical cannabis.

While the DEA wants to increase the number of authorized marijuana manufacturers, Sessions’ DOJ appears to be holding them back.

Jeff Sessions extreme opposition to marijuana legalization and his public disdain for cannabis users have prompted concerns that the Trump administration would attempt to roll back policies aimed at expanding access to medical cannabis and ensuring states are free to pass their own marijuana legislation.

And those concerns have already proven themselves to be valid. Since becoming Attorney General, Sessions has repeatedly vowed to ramp up federal drug enforcement. He’s ordered federal judges to pursue the maximum sentence possible even for non-violent, petty drug offenses.


Furthermore, on January 4, Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo adopting a non-interference policy with legal-cannabis states.

What Sens. Harris and Hatch say Sessions is doing, though, is a bit more subtle than all that. In their letter, the senators reference reports that the Justice Department is preventing the DEA from reviewing applications from cultivators.

Unable to authorize new manufacturers, FDA-approved research projects on medical marijuana can source their cannabis from just one grower. Indeed, the University of Mississippi is currently the only grower licensed to produce cannabis for federally-approved research.

Senators’ Latest Bout With Sessions Takes Aim At Expanding Federal Cannabis Research

For as long as Sessions has been threatening a federal crackdown, however, lawmakers across the nation have pushed back.

Legislators have written letters, sent invitations, sought summits, and even filed lawsuits in response to Sessions’ provocations.


Sens. Kamala Harris and Orrin Hatch went with the letter-writing approach. But their aim isn’t to get Sessions to back down on enforcement. Rather, the bipartisan senators want to expand federal cannabis research, starting at the source.

Nearly two years ago, on Aug 11, 2016 the DEA announced a series of significant actions regarding medical cannabis research and industrial hemp production.

One policy change aimed “to foster research by expanding the number of DEA-registered marijuana manufacturers.”

The change, the DEA said, would “provide researchers with a diverse and robust supply of marijuana.”

Additionally, the DEA has approved every single application researchers have submitted to use federally-supplied cannabis to conduct “scientifically meritorious” studies.

So despite being the law enforcement wing of federal drug policy, the DEA have in recent years been surprisingly committed to advancing cannabis research.

And according to reports referenced in the letter Sens. Harris and Hatch sent to the DOJ, the DEA would be able to license up to 25 new manufacturers to grow cannabis for federal research, were the DOJ not sitting on the applications.

So Harris and Hatch are merely asking the Justice Department to let the DEA move forward on policy changes it adopted nearly two years ago.

Harris And Hatch Have A History With Cannabis

Both Harris and Hatch have had checkered records on the issue of legal cannabis. These days, Harris regularly denounces the war on drugs as a failure. But during her tenure as California’s Attorney General (2011 to 2017), Harris took no action on drug policy reform.

When Obama’s DOJ raided dispensaries in her home state of California in 2011, she issued a brief and largely deferential statement about “the gangs and criminal enterprises that seek to exploit the definite ambiguities in state law.”

In 2012, Harris laughed at the New York Time‘s official endorsement of legalization. In 2014, her Republican opponent ran to her left on marijuana issues. And despite her public support for marijuana, Harris has yet to sign on to any existing reform bills this year.

Unlike Harris, who’s been more inert on the issue than oppositional, Orrin Hatch has had a dramatic cannabis conversion. The senator has gone from being vocally anti-cannabis to one of the Hill’s most ardent champions of medical marijuana.

The Final Hit: Senators Take On Jeff Sessions Over Marijuana Research Restrictions

Whatever their records, however, Hatch and Harris are putting pressure on a significant choke point blocking medical cannabis research from advancing in the United States.

“Research on marijuana is necessary to resolve the critical questions of public health and safety, such as learning the impact of marijuana on developing brains and formulating methods to test marijuana impairment in drivers,” the pair said in the letter.

They’ve asked Sessions for a commitment that the DEA will resolve the 25 pending applications by August 11.

Man Fired For Smoking Weed Gets His Job Back With Bonus Compensation


The question of how employers will handle drug tests grows more complicated as cannabis becomes legal in more places. This is especially true in Canada right now, as full legalization is on the immediate horizon. Most recently, as a man fired for smoking weed gets his job back with bonus compensation in Thunder Bay, Ontario, many of these questions are coming into better focus.

Weed Smoker Gets His Job Back

In October 2017, two workers at Bombardier Transportation were fired after a supervisor said he saw them smoking weed at work. More specifically, the supervisor said he saw the men taking their afternoon break outdoors. He said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from their direction and saw smoke.

Further, the supervisor said that when he approached the men, he saw one of them toss something to the ground. The object smoldered and then went out. However, the supervisor was unable to find anything when he searched the ground.

Despite not finding any physical evidence, the supervisor brought the two men to Human Resources. Throughout the entire incident, the two men insisted that they hadn’t been smoking weed. They also said that they would probably fail a drug test since they smoked at home on their own time. Regardless, the company fired both men.

Now, a few months later, one of the men has been reinstated. His co-worker’s case is still ongoing. But for the man who got his job back, things have worked out pretty well.


The arbitrator handling his case said that Bombardier Transportation did not have just cause to fire him. As a result, the company was required to give him his job back with no loss of seniority. Additionally, the company had to compensate the man for lost income during his months of unemployment.

“He was not seen smoking, exhaling, or disposing of drugs or paraphernalia,” arbitrator Paul Craven told TB News Watch. “The company has not demonstrated that it is more probable that the grievor smoked marijuana on its property on October 5 than he did not.”

Final Hit: Man Fired For Smoking Weed Gets His Job Back With Bonus Compensation

Along with citing lack of evidence, Craven also brought up the issue of Canada’s pending legalization. Similarly, he cited concerns with drug testing protocols. In particular, Craven said that drug tests do not accurately determine whether or not a person is impaired at the time the test is administered.

“It has become notorious that current tests for cannabinoids are incapable of demonstrating either present impairment or recent consumption,” he said. He added that companies like Bombardier “might well consider other more reliable methods of assessing impairment and/or alternative policy approaches to the problem of marijuana use in the workplace.”

Ultimately, this case also highlights questions about employment and legal weed. Canada is preparing for federal legalization, which is scheduled to occur sometime this summer. In the age of legalization, many have wondered if it makes sense to allow companies to screen employees or potential employees for marijuana use. This particular case suggests that policy could be moving toward protecting cannabis users.

Man Arrested For Death Threat Against Pro-Marijuana Congressman


Last week ended on a strange note for lawmakers in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Following an explosive encounter, we see a man arrested for death threat against pro-marijuana Congressman Scott Taylor.

Encounter Spins Out of Control

According to the Department of Justice, the incident occurred last Thursday when 69-year-old Wallace Grove Godwin visited the office of Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor. When a conversation about marijuana policy intensified, Godwin allegedly threatened Rep. Taylor and two of his staff members.

Official documents from the DOJ reported that Godwin said: “Scott is having an event this Saturday. I am going to get my shotgun and do something about this. I will handle this myself.”

He then reportedly pointed at two of Taylor’s staff members who were standing nearby and told them: “You two are next.”

Godwin is allegedly registered to carry concealed firearms. Given that, staffers took the threats seriously and Godwin was soon arrested.


He was charged with threatening to murder and assault a United States official. That is a felony charge that could lead to as many as 10 years in prison. However, the DOJ said that sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum. Godwin appeared in court last Friday.

A History of Confrontations

This isn’t the first time that Godwin has confronted Rep. Taylor. Apparently, marijuana policy has been a real point of tension for Godwin.

In 2017, Godwin showed up at Rep. Taylor’s private home and got into a heated fight about marijuana law. Eventually, Taylor told him to leave and Godwin did. Additionally, there was another incident very similar to last week’s in which Godwin went to Rep. Taylor’s office and started yelling at his staff members.

On top of all that, Godwin has tried taking his anti-marijuana anger directly to the top. Last year, Godwin filed a lawsuit against the federal government. In his suit, he claimed that the government was failing to enforce federal cannabis laws. The lawsuit was dismissed.

Final Hit: Man Arrested For Death Threat Against Pro-Marijuana Congressman

It seems likely that Rep. Taylor’s history with cannabis legislation is at the root of Godwin’s frequent confrontations. In particular, Godwin—who is an avid opponent of marijuana—may be frustrated that Taylor was an original co-sponsor of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017.

That bill included a large number of co-sponsors and included both Democrats and Republicans like Rep. Taylor.


The question of how the federal government will approach cannabis has become an increasingly hot topic in recent months. Much of the growing intensity surrounding the debate stems from actions taken by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In January, Sessions started the new year by rescinding an important Obama-era policy on state cannabis laws. The policy, known as the Cole Memo, directed federal agencies to take a hands-off approach when it comes to dealing with states where weed is legal. By rescinding that policy, Sessions effectively opened the door to a federal crackdown on weed-legal states.

Sessions is an outspoken opponent of cannabis. He has also recently tried to blame cannabis for the ongoing opioid crisis. His anti-weed campaign has escalated tensions between weed-legal states and the federal government, and between those who favor legalization and those who do not.

California Lawmakers Are Pushing For Lower Tax On Legal Cannabis


California lawmakers are pushing for lower tax on legal cannabis in an effort to thwart the black market. Two members of the state assembly announced a bipartisan plan Thursday that would reduce taxes on legal pot. California’s fledgling cannabis industry began January 1 of this year after voters passed Prop 64 in 2016.

Assembly Member Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Oakland, and Republican Tom Lackey of Palmdale say taxes on pot are too high. They believe that the impact of taxes on the price of legal weed allows unlicensed growers and sellers to continue to thrive.

“Without tax relief to make taxes more affordable, we will continue to empower California’s mature black market,” Lackey told reporters.

Lackey is a retired 28-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol. He also noted that illicit operators don’t check identification to prevent sales to minors. They don’t pay any taxes or follow strict safety rules, either.


Taxes And Even More Taxes

Cannabis taxes in California are first assessed to cultivators. Growers pay $9.25 per ounce of flower and $2.75 for each ounce of leaves. Once products are sold at retail, even more levies are added. A state excise tax slaps another 15 percent onto the total. Local governments can add their own fees, and sales tax is tacked on for recreational pot buyers.

Retailers in California say when combined, taxes on marijuana approach 50 percent. The cost of legal weed goes up even more with the expenses of required testing and tracking thrown in, especially when specialty items like moonrocks are in the mix.

If Bonta and Lackey succeed, their plan would reduce the excise tax to 11 percent. They would also eliminate the cultivation tax for three years. The lawmakers estimate that total prices at retail would shrink about 9 percent with the proposed reductions.

Not A New Problem

Other states with legal cannabis have also struggled to find the so-called sweet spot for taxation. Activists have long included potential tax revenues as a benefit of cannabis legalization. Consequently, many lawmakers see marijuana as a cash cow for strapped public coffers.

But when taxes are too high, many buyers choose to remain outside the legal supply chain. This means that established black market operators continue to have a steady stream of willing customers.

When the State of Washington became the first state to legalize cannabis in 2012, it also imposed taxes at many stages of production. A tax of 25 percent was assessed up to three separate times on some products. It was added when growers sold to processors, and when processors sold to retail shops. Consumers got hit again when they purchased from the retailers.


Washington reduced and combined those taxes into one 37 percent levy at the retail level in 2015. Buyers also pay the usual sales tax on their purchases.

Final Hit: California Lawmakers Are Pushing For Lower Tax On Legal Cannabis

Assembly Member Bonta noted that is important to support the newly legal pot businesses now so they can compete with the black market.

“If we don’t get it right in the beginning, it will be hard to make up for it later and correct in the future,” he said.

This State Could Be Close To Having Legal Recreational Cannabis


Cannabis laws in Connecticut have slowly evolved over the last few years and today, lawmakers are holding a hearing about recreational weed. The meeting may be a sign that this state could be close to having legal recreational cannabis.

Public Hearing to Discuss Weed

This morning, Connecticut lawmakers will hear arguments for and against the possibility of legalizing recreational weed. The meeting is a public hearing, which means it will be open for comments from the general public.

The hearing will focus on Bill No. 5458, which calls for the following keys changes:

  • Anyone 21 and older would be allowed to buy recreational weed from a cannabis retailer.
  • The state would allow people to consume weed in lounges.
  • People in Connecticut would be allowed to grow up to six plants at their home for personal use.

So far, those in the state who support the idea have focused on legalization as a way to increase tax revenues. In particular, advocates have argued that boosting taxes is important right now when the state is facing serious financial challenges.

Additionally, lawmakers like Rep. Robyn Porter have cited social justice concerns as key reasons for pushing for legalization. In particular, Porter has raised concerns regarding the racial disparity in weed-related arrests.


“This has always been an issue that has impacted communities of color disproportionately and has sent many black and brown people to jail for what I feel are nonviolent offenses,” Porter told the Yale Daily News last year.

“You have people serving time for marijuana charges. With the three-strikes law, you have some people in jail with life sentences, spending more time in jail than people who have done very heinous crimes.”

On the other hand, opponents of the idea include Governor Dannel Malloy. The governor has been clear that he does not support legalization.

Today’s public hearing will give lawmakers and residents a chance to discuss the issue. It will also give lawmakers an important chance to hear arguments directly from the public.


Final Hit: This State Could Be Close To Having Legal Recreational Cannabis

The topic of recreational cannabis in Connecticut has been on the table for at least the last couple years. Weed laws in the state have undergone some important changes, but progress has stalled out when it comes to full legalization.

In 2011, the state successfully decriminalized weed. Then, in 2012, the state launched its medical marijuana program. Since then, advocates have pushed to legalize recreational weed, but nothing has materialized yet.

Interestingly, surveys consistently find that the huge majority of Connecticut residents support legalization. In fact, a study conducted last fall by Sacred Heart University found that a full 71 percent of people in Connecticut support legalizing and taxing recreational weed.

Cannabis advocates in the state are hoping that this popular support will be enough to get a legalization bill on the ballot later this year. If Connecticut does legalize, it will be the tenth state to do so.

Earlier this year, lawmakers in Vermont signed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis, making it the ninth state with legal weed.

Congress Can’t Vote on Cannabis Anymore Because of This Man


Have you ever wondered why the government seems to be moving at a snail’s pace when it comes to marijuana legislation? You may not have heard of Pete Sessions, but he’s one of the leading anti-cannabis lawmakers in the United States. Before you ask, no, he is not, in fact, related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But Congress can’t vote on cannabis anymore because of this man.

Pete Sessions Blocks Cannabis Legislation

Pete Sessions is a Republican Congressperson from Texas. Currently, he serves as Chairman of the House Rules Committee. That position gives him a lot of power over what legislation makes it to the House floor.

As he describes it on his website: “The House Rules Committee has important oversight responsibilities including oversight of the rules of the House, the House’s internal organization, the Congressional budget process, the ethics process, and relations between Congress and the Executive and Judicial branch.”

Ultimately, all this responsibility gives him the power to dictate what does and does not reach a Congressional vote. And he isn’t shy about this power.

“The Rules Committee assignment has allowed me to use my experience and personal values to influence every piece of legislation before it reaches the House floor,” his website says.


Sessions’ personal influence on legislation is particularly evident when it comes to cannabis law. For at least the last two years, Sessions has enacted a vendetta against cannabis reform, blocking every piece of weed-related legislation from going to a vote in the House. To put it plainly, Congress can’t vote on cannabis anymore because of this man.

The last time the full House voted on a piece of cannabis legislation was May 2016. That’s when representatives approved a proposal to give veterans access to medical marijuana as part of VA healthcare.

Since then, nothing. Sessions has successfully managed to block all national cannabis legislation from going to a vote on the House floor.

Pete Sessions is Clueless When it Comes to Weed

Pete Sessions shares more with Attorney General Jeff Sessions than just a last name. Both of them are outspoken opponents of cannabis. More specifically, they both regularly spout anti-weed propaganda that’s not at all consistent with research, science, or data.

To give you a sense of what Pete Sessions thinks about weed, take a look at a speech he gave this week about the U.S.’s ongoing opioid crisis.


Much of his speech was devoted to blaming opioid addiction on cannabis, rather than on the prescription painkillers being pushed by Big Pharma.

“Where do they start?” Sessions asked about those who end up hooked on opioids. “If it’s marijuana, we ought to stand up and be brave in the medical community to say this political direction is not right.”

He went on to suggest that legal cannabis is the source of addiction in the U.S.

“If addiction is the problem and we have marketers of addiction that include marijuana . . . we ought to call for it what it is,” he said.

Unfortunately for Sessions, none of his beliefs about weed are backed up by data. For starters, more and more researchers are moving away from the idea that weed is a “gateway drug.” In fact, even the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”


This is especially true when it comes to opioid abuse. Despite what Pete Sessions may say, cannabis could actually be a cure for opioid addiction. For example, a 2016 study found that cannabis may help treat addiction to opioids and alcohol. Researchers went so far as to call cannabis “an exit drug.” They said weed can help people ease off harmful substances like highly-additive opioid painkillers.

Final Hit: Congress Can’t Vote on Cannabis Anymore Because of This Man

Sessions’ comments about weed earlier this week are alarming. The most obvious problem is that they were based more on fear-mongering myths than any actual research.

But beyond that, the real problem is that Sessions holds so much power over national legislation. In his role as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Sessions plays a huge behind-the-scenes role in dictating what does and does not make it to the House floor.

It appears that his irrational and paranoid fear of cannabis is one of the main reasons that Congress can’t vote on cannabis anymore. The full House hasn’t voted on meaningful cannabis legislation for the past two years.

The Lawsuit Against Jeff Sessions Will Be Heard In Court Tomorrow


In case you haven’t been in the loop, a lawsuit against Jeff Sessions has been in the works for months now. Specifically, a lawsuit alleging that the federal prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional. And tomorrow, that lawsuit will be read and evaluated in the Federal Court of New York City.

The Case

The United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, is infamous for his vehement stance against cannabis. Since his appointment as Attorney General, he has not held back on sharing his views on the matter. These views have been entirely in favor of prohibition and firmly against marijuana legalization of any kind.

Including medical marijuana.

Sessions’ statements about cannabis have, historically, not been rooted in any sort of scientific evidence. Rather, they have been a regurgitation of antiquated theories and Harry Anslinger-esque rhetoric. Sessions has, to date, refused to entertain any evidence or research that contradict his anti-cannabis stance. Indeed, a previous Attorney General, Eric Holder, asserted that Sessions has “an almost obsession with marijuana”. Specifically with marijuana prohibition.

On January 4, 2018, Attorney General Sessions put definitive action behind his words. He rescinded the Cole Memo. This piece of Obama-era legislation was put in place to prevent the federal government from interfering with states with legalized and regulated marijuana.


While lawmakers around the country have been stepping up to the plate to go head-to-head with this blatant violation of state’s rights, a separate lawsuit against Jeff Sessions has been in progress since autumn of last year.

And this complaint isn’t coming from lawmakers. It is coming from civilians who depend on medical marijuana.

The Plaintiffs

The most prominent plaintiff in this lawsuit against Jeff Sessions is Alexis Bortell. At twelve years old, she uses medical cannabis to control and quell her debilitating epilepsy.

In order to secure this life-saving treatment, she and her parents were forced to relocate from their native Texas to Colorado. The medical marijuana that Bortell uses every day is perfectly legal in Colorado. But because of the federal prohibition, she can’t travel with her medicine.

This means that she cannot leave the state. So what’s a young person to do when she is essentially trapped because of federal marijuana prohibition? Sue the federal government. Specifically Jeff Sessions.


Attorney Michael Hiller has taken on the task of representing Bortell and four other plaintiffs. Bortell’s co-plaintiffs include her father, Dean Bortell, another child and his parent (Jagger and Sebastian Cotter), an Army veteran (Jose Belen), a retired football player (Marvin Washington) and the non-profit organization Cannabis Cultural Association, Inc.

The Suit

The lawsuit against Jeff Sessions alleges that the Controlled Substances Act violates the Constitutional rights of medical marijuana patients.

From the complaint, shared with us by Hiller, PC Attorneys at Law:

Plaintiffs seek a declaration that the CSA, as it pertains to the classification of Cannabis as a Schedule I drug, is unconstitutional, because it violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, an assortment of protections guaranteed by the First, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, plus the fundamental Right to Travel, the right to Equal Protection, and right to Substantive Due Process.

In plain language, the federal prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional, and these lawyers are about to prove it.

Final Hit: The Lawsuit Against Jeff Sessions Will Be Heard In Court Tomorrow

Tomorrow, this court document attached to the lawsuit against Jeff Sessions will be read and evaluated tomorrow, February 14, 2018, in the Federal Court of New York City. The case will be presided over by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein. According to our sources, this will be an open hearing and Jeff Sessions himself will be in attendance.

Alexis Bortell, on the other hand, will not be because, again, she is unable to travel without her medication. And more to the point, she is unable to travel with her medication.

If the plaintiffs are successful, it will not just be a victory for them. It will be a victory for the thousands of medical marijuana patients in the country.


As this is a case that is of national interest, we will do our best to keep you updated.