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Shaheen on pot -- Change laws; don't ignore them

EDITORIAL
January 08. 2018 8:48PM




New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is more than willing to attack the Trump administration’s marijuana policy, but she lacks the courage to actually do anything about it.

Shaheen blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week for reversing an Obama-era decision to essentially ignore federal marijuana laws.

If only New Hampshire’s senior senator had some way to push for changes in federal marijuana laws. Whom could she possibly call?

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has introduced S. 776, which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. Neither Shaheen nor any of the other senators who criticized Sessions’ decision to enforce existing laws have signed on as cosponsors.

In the House, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., has a bill to exempt marijuana bought in compliance with state laws from federal penalties. No senator has bothered to introduce parallel legislation.

Shaheen wants to curry favor with pro-pot voters, without doing anything to change the law. Police unions, which largely oppose marijuana legalization, are still a powerful constituency within the Democratic Party.

Allowing the executive to ignore laws it finds inconvenient undermines Congressional authority and the rule of law.

If Shaheen wants the feds to stop going after drug dealers, she should have the courage to back drug legalization.


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