Marijuana News Roundup: US Attorney General Sessions Gets Tough

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In a memo released Friday to all federal prosecutors, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a series of directives that set out the charging and sentencing policies for the U.S. Department of Justice. The memo reverses “any previous inconsistent” policies of the DoJ.

Sessions directs prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.” Calling this policy “moral and just,” Sessions goes on to say:

This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us. By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.

The effect of this directive is expected to be a return to a harsher sentencing policy for drug offenders, including a return to the days of mandatory minimum sentencing. The stricter enforcement reverses policies promulgated by former Attorney General Eric Holder to reserve the toughest penalties for high-level drug traffickers and violent criminals.

According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, since 2014 the number of mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses has led to a drop of 14% in the federal prisoner population. Under the policy announced Friday, that decline is expected to end and reverse direction.

Retired NFL Players Speak Out About Marijuana and Pain
Ebenezer Ekuban, who played defensive end for nine NFL seasons, told the Washington Post: “Every day, I wake up in pain, from my ankles to my neck. It’s part of the territory. I know what I signed up for.”

“I thought I’d feel better getting away from all those hits, but I was worse off,” Ekuban continued. “A couple blood tests showed elevated liver enzymes. I knew they were from all those painkillers.”

Eugene Monroe, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens last year after calling for the league to permit medical marijuana: “This pain is never going away. My body is damaged. I have to manage it somehow. Managing it with pills was slowly killing me. Now I’m able to function and be extremely efficient by figuring out how to use different formulations of cannabis.”

Read more at The Fresh Toast.