When they go low, we get high?
In response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' pot crackdown today, the Colorado State Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted: "We'll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands." That's better than cold, dead hands, for sure.
Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that kept federal law-enforcement officials from interfering in sales of marijuana in states where it is legal, like Colorado, plus seven others and Washington, D.C.
In a memo today, he said federal prosecutors should themselves decide whether to go after pot users, and that they should "follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions" by considering how serious each crime is, noting that pot remains illegal under federal law. It's as of yet unclear how this decision will affect pot sales, according to the Associated Press.
Aside from the perfect clap-back, the Senate Dems continued in a thread, explaining that the marijuana industry supports hundreds of small businesses in the state, generating money that "helps fund our schools and addiction-treatment programs for more dangerous drugs."
The thread concluded: "Instead of using taxpayer resources to go after a drug that's safer than alcohol, Jeff Sessions should focus on political corruption and white-collar crime. Seems like there's plenty of that to go around in D.C. If only there was some way we could mellow him out."
If only. Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner also didn't have kind words for Sessions' decision, saying the Justice Department "has trampled on the will of the voters." And Colorado's U.S. attorney Bob Troyer said his office will not change its approach to prosecuting marijuana crimes.
Several prominent politicians also condemned the decision. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren called it "reckless," and called on Congress to "take immediate action to protect state marijuana laws, and the patients that rely on them," meaning patients who use medical marijuana to treat conditions such as epilepsy.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called the decision a "direct attack" on patients who benefit from medical marijuana.
California Sen. Kamala Harris questioned Sessions' priorities.
In 2017, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which seeks to completely end federal prohibition.
Then there's the issue of mass incarceration. According to a 2013 ACLU report, Black people were almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, though they use marijuana at similar rates. And the NAACP reports that African-Americans are six times more likely to be imprisoned for drug charges. Throwing people in jail for minor offenses, many have argued, takes away from larger priorities.
Pot use is on the rise among women, with a higher number of women than men reporting using cannabis daily, and one in five users are parents, according to a survey from June 2017. With new shows and magazines about women and weed, it's also entering the culture in ways that feel less stigmatized. (Though, having a glass of wine still seems more socially acceptable to many.)
The non-medical use of cannabis is legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and D.C.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under federal law, regardless of state marijuana laws.