Montana federal prosecutor warns of dangers of pot legalization sooner than vote
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Montana’s prime federal prosecutor is urging voters to tread carefully before voting to legalize leisure marijuana, taking the unfamiliar step of jumping exact into a political debate a pair of pollinitiative in the weeks before the election.
In an op-ed published in different newspapers in contemporary days and posted on the Justice Division’s web web page on Monday, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme urged voters they need to “review in ingredient” a pair of pollinitiatives that might per chance well per chance per chance legalize hashish for adults ages 21 and older, warning that marijuana is addictive, might per chance well per chance per chance lead on to extra traffic accidents and might per chance well per chance per chance even “elevate the probability of severe complications from COVID-19.”
Smoking, whether marijuana or tobacco, might per chance well per chance per chance elevate possibility of severe COVID-19 attributable to doable for lung inflammation.
Montana is one in all 5 states this November voting on eight initiatives to legalize marijuana for clinical or leisure exhaust. Dozen of different states have already legalized the drug, though marijuana stays illegal below federal guidelines.
Though frail Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018 rescinded an Obama administration policy that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana prison guidelines in states that legalized the drug, hashish consultants voice federal prosecutors have largely since left marijuana corporations by myself as lengthy as they complied with sigh prison guidelines.
The Justice Division has increasingly near below scrutiny for some of its messaging sooner than the 2020 election, with Attorney General William Barr repeating claims by President Donald Trump, with out proof, that there might per chance well per chance per chance be popular fraud with mail-in ballots.
Some frail prosecutors acknowledged they felt Alme’s decision to weigh in on a sigh pollinquire of before the election might per chance well per chance have crossed the line.
“It’s miles extremely unfamiliar and unfriendly for a U.S. Attorney to weigh in on political questions,” acknowledged Barbara McQuade, a frail U.S. Attorney for the Japanese District of Michigan.
William Nettles, the frail U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, agreed, calling it “an abuse of authority” and “irregular behavior.”
A spokeswoman for Alme’s location of industrial, Clair Johnson Howard, acknowledged in an announcement to Reuters that the op-ed “became as soon as supposed to coach voters on a controversy that vastly impacts the enforcement of federal prison guidelines and is a subject about which U.S. Attorney’s Offices have worthy recordsdata.”
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Sonya Hepinstall)