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Sessions Talks Marijuana With Anti-Legalization Canadian Senators

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sat down on Wednesday with three Canadian senators who are trying to defeat efforts to legalize marijuana in their country.

“The legalization of marijuana in Canada could have profound effects in our interaction with our closest neighbour and friend, the United States,” said Sen. Denise Batters. “In our review of this legislation, Conservative Senators have discovered many unintended consequences stemming from the Trudeau Government’s haste to implement legalization. We are here to further explore and address some of the international implications with our most important trading partner.”

The senators from Canada’s Conservative Party traveled to Washington, D.C. to investigate the “predictable consequences of legalization for Canadians traveling to the United States,” according to a press release.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justice Trudeau is working to fulfill a campaign pledge to legalize cannabis, and is hoping to enact its bill this summer.

The legislation was approved by the House of Commons last November and cleared the Senate’s second reading stage last month and is now in the committee stage, where it can be amended.

Sessions, a longtime legalization opponent, moved in January to rescind Obama-era guidance that has generally allowed state to implement their own marijuana laws without federal interference.

Besides the attorney general, Batters and Sens. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu and Claude Carignan met with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection during the visit to Washington. They also met with prohibitionist advocacy group Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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