California's recent legalization of marijuana seems to have re-inspired Jeff Sessions, the director of the Department of Justice, to pursue his desire to have the federal laws on marijuana supersede state laws. It is understandable that perhaps Sessions wishes to suppress state decisions on legalizing recreational marijuana because of his moral qualms with the drug, however his agenda is contrary to true Republican values. Perhaps even a greater threat to true Republican values is that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said that, in relation to cannabis, "the president believes in enforcing federal law, that would be his top priority, [and] that is regardless of what the topic is..." (January 4, 2:25pm).
The most inherent Republican value is that of a small government which respects the constitutional rights of our fifty states to have sovereignty over themselves with their own interpretation and enactment of laws. Another core Republican value is working towards creating a bolstering economy, especially with much attention given towards allowing small businesses to thrive under our capitalistic ideals. These two fundamental values of those who adhere to Republicanism will be grossly violated should Jeff Sessions decide to send out federal raids of marijuana dispensaries and farms.
An MSNBC report visited a cannabis grow house in California which will generate upwards of $8 million per year. These numbers are based upon the company selling each pound of marijuana at $2k, with 84 pounds in each room, times 12 rooms, times each room being turned for profit fours times in a year. Should this grow house be respected as a legal business by the DOJ, this single grow house will generate $300k+ in taxes for the community. Now, as a registered Republican, this presents a serious challenge to all republicans who are against recreational marijuana from a pure and true Republican standpoint. Cannabis in Dessert Springs, CA, provides a real example of what economic success lies in potentials in many cities and towns which are struggling economically. This is why if the DOJ pursues federal raids on cannabis businesses in California, Washington, and Colorado it will not be a continuation of President Regan's War n Drugs but instead it will be a war on American small business and the stifling of communities trying to pull themselves up by their boot straps.
The classic argument against recreational marijuana is that the NIH lists it as a class 2 carcinogen, this argument is not totally invalid. The results of these NIH studies which caused marijuana to be listed as a class 2 carcinogen is that it affects the frontal cortex of any individual who smokes before the age of 25, because the frontal cortex is not developed until that age and smoking before can cause permanent damages that can lead to things from decreased cognitive abilities to slight schizophrenia, and that smoking marijuana has the same impact on one's lungs as smoking tobacco does. To this argument, as I see it being the only legitimate argument against states legalizing recreational marijuana, I would say that the simple solution is raising the legal age of usage of recreational marijuana from 21, as is the current age in California, Washington, and Colorado, to the age of 25 so as to protect the development of peoples' brains. This seems to be a quite obvious response to this argument.
Republicans are supposed to be the ones fighting against an overbearing government and yet I feel my party is once again looking out for their image amongst their elite colleagues and uneducated constituents instead of fighting for the rights of this country's citizens, especially economically. Recreational marijuana is not about a contrary to the engrained conservative values of America, it is about raising the economy of communities throughout our nation from the rubble of the '08 recession by which they are still affected. To suffocate recreational marijuana business is anti-Republican; to suffocate economic development is anti-American.