Montana federal prosecutor warns of dangers of pot legalization ahead of vote
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Montana’s high federal prosecutor is urging voters to tread fastidiously before vote casting to legalize recreational marijuana, taking the odd step of leaping into a political debate a couple of pollinitiative in the weeks before the election.
In an op-ed printed in loads of newspapers in present days and posted on the Justice Department’s web yelp on Monday, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme immediate voters they must silent “review intimately” a pair of pollinitiatives that will legalize cannabis for adults ages 21 and older, warning that marijuana is addictive, would possibly well result in extra traffic accidents and would possibly well even “amplify the anxiety of severe issues from COVID-19.”
Smoking, whether marijuana or tobacco, would possibly well amplify anxiety of severe COVID-19 attributable to most likely for lung inflammation.
Montana is with out a doubt one of five states this November vote casting on eight initiatives to legalize marijuana for clinical or recreational exercise. Dozen of diversified states possess already legalized the drug, though marijuana stays unlawful beneath federal legislation.
Even supposing former Attorney Traditional Jeff Sessions in 2018 rescinded an Obama administration coverage that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana prison guidelines in states that legalized the drug, cannabis experts explain federal prosecutors possess largely since left marijuana companies by myself as long as they complied with issue prison guidelines.
The Justice Department has increasingly near beneath scrutiny for a couple of of its messaging ahead of the 2020 election, with Attorney Traditional William Barr repeating claims by President Donald Trump, with out proof, that there shall be trendy fraud with mail-in ballots.
Some former prosecutors mentioned they felt Alme’s decision to weigh in on a issue polldemand before the election would possibly well honest possess crossed the highway.
“It’s a long way extremely odd and atrocious for a U.S. Attorney to weigh in on political questions,” mentioned Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. Attorney for the Jap District of Michigan.
William Nettles, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, agreed, calling it “an abuse of authority” and “irregular behavior.”
A spokeswoman for Alme’s space of industrial, Clair Johnson Howard, mentioned in a assertion to Reuters that the op-ed “turned into intended to educate voters on an venture that vastly impacts the enforcement of federal criminal legislation and is a matter about which U.S. Attorney’s Locations of work possess mighty files.”
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Invoice Berkrot and Sonya Hepinstall)