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Jeff Sessions really wants to prosecute medical marijuana providers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, but he's recently been in touch with Congress about another matter: prosecuting medical marijuana providers.

Some context: Since 2014, Congress has prohibited the Justice Department from spending any money to interfere with states "implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana." The law functions as a de facto federal legalization of medical marijuana wherever it is legalized at the state level, and it was upheld in appeals court in 2016.

That's the rule Sessions wants to nix. He wrote a letter to Congress in May arguing it is "unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the [Justice] Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime." Sessions' argument here is disingenuous; as The Washington Post notes, the "historic drug epidemic" in question involves opioids, not marijuana, and states in which medical marijuana is legal see a substantially lower rate of opioid overdose and abuse.