A crime reduction task force was created by the Department of Justice, and the federal government is awaiting the report. Marijuana has been legalized in more than half of the states here in the U.S., however there is still a big debate on the federal level surrounding the dangers associated with marijuana.
The federal government’s current stance on marijuana is that it has no medical value and is as dangerous as heroine. There are now medical patients that use cannabis regularly and will attest to is benefits and other people that will argue that the only thing that would link marijuana to violent crime is that it is illegal in the first place. Do you believe that the cannabis plant is directly related to violence?
President Trump’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, led by Sessions, is expected to release a report next week that criminal justice reform advocates fear will link marijuana to violent crime and recommend tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking the plant.
Sessions sent a memo in April updating the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and Department of Justice Department (DOJ) component heads on the work of the task force, which he said would be accomplished through various subcommittees. In the memo, Sessions said he has asked for initial recommendations no later than July 27.
“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 increases 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.”
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” said the letter from Sessions, first obtained by Massroots.com and verified by The Washington Post.
As for the task force, Sessions said another subcommittee would “explore our use of asset forfeiture and make recommendations on any improvements needed to legal authorities, policies, and training to most effectively attack the financial infrastructure of criminal organizations.”
On Wednesday, Sessions reportedly re-established a controversial criminal asset seizure program ahead of the committee’s recommendations.
Local law enforcement leaders say a crackdown appears to be next, though they argue there’s no need for it.
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