Montana federal prosecutor warns of risks of pot legalization sooner than vote
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Montana’s top federal prosecutor is urging voters to tread fastidiously earlier than voting to legalize leisure marijuana, taking the uncommon step of jumping accurate into a political debate a pair of ballotinitiative within the weeks earlier than the election.
In an op-ed published in several newspapers in most up-to-date days and posted on the Justice Department’s internet whisper material on Monday, U.S. Felony legitimate Kurt Alme told voters they prefer to “evaluate in ingredient” a pair of ballotinitiatives that can per chance well per chance legalize cannabis for adults ages 21 and older, warning that marijuana is addictive, would possibly well lead to more internet page visitors accidents and would possibly well per chance even “improve the possibility of severe issues from COVID-19.”
Smoking, whether marijuana or tobacco, would possibly well per chance improve possibility of severe COVID-19 due to attainable for lung inflammation.
Montana is undoubtedly one of 5 states this November voting on eight initiatives to legalize marijuana for clinical or leisure yelp. Dozen of assorted states possess already legalized the drug, though marijuana stays unlawful below federal law.
Even though primitive Felony legitimate Frequent Jeff Classes in 2018 rescinded an Obama administration coverage that had eased enforcement of federal marijuana rules in states that legalized the drug, cannabis experts dispute federal prosecutors possess largely since left marijuana companies on my own as prolonged as they complied with reveal rules.
The Justice Department has increasingly more attain below scrutiny for some of its messaging sooner than the 2020 election, with Felony legitimate Frequent William Barr repeating claims by President Donald Trump, with out proof, that there will be favorite fraud with mail-in ballots.
Some primitive prosecutors talked about they felt Alme’s decision to weigh in on a reveal ballotquiz earlier than the election would possibly well merely possess crossed the road.
“It is far highly uncommon and unpleasant for a U.S. Felony legitimate to weigh in on political questions,” talked about Barbara McQuade, a primitive U.S. Felony legitimate for the Eastern District of Michigan.
William Nettles, the primitive U.S. Felony legitimate for the District of South Carolina, agreed, calling it “an abuse of authority” and “unheard of behavior.”
A spokeswoman for Alme’s office, Clair Johnson Howard, talked about in an announcement to Reuters that the op-ed “changed into meant to educate voters on a scenario that vastly impacts the enforcement of federal prison law and is a subject matter about which U.S. Felony legitimate’s Workplaces possess noteworthy files.”
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Bettering by Bill Berkrot and Sonya Hepinstall)