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News Link • Drug War

Sessions' marijuana decision shows we learned nothing from Prohibition

• by Christian Schneider

In 1932, when Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis deemed U.S. states "laboratories" for democracy, he couldn't have known that those labs would one day be filled with hydroponic weed.

This week, federalism and marijuana once again found themselves trapped in the same smoke-filled van as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a number of Obama-era policies that turned a blind eye as states legalized weed for recreational purposes. During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump said marijuana enforcement should be left to the states; but on Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump believes "that we should enforce federal law."

Federal law, of course, bans marijuana sale and use. It is that very restriction to which voters in states all over the country are now objecting. According to an October Gallup poll, 64% of Americans currently believe marijuana should be legalized, up from only 48% as recently as 2012. Amazingly, 51% of Republicans now believe in legalization, up a whopping 9% over just last year. Who knows whether that spike is a cause or effect of the Trump presidency.

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