WEED FEED / John Ross Ferrara / Monday, March 26, 2018 @ 9:31 a.m.

Weed Feed: Sessions Asks Federal Prosecutors to Seek Death Penalty in Drug-Related Cases



Original photo of Donald Trump by Flick user Gage Skidmore. Graphic by John Ferrara.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a memo to federal prosecutors last week, instructing them to seek the death penalty in certain drug-related cases.

The letter was issued following President Trump’s proposed plan to execute drug traffickers in an effort to crackdown on the U.S. opioid epidemic.

“The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering, and death on communities throughout our nation,” Sessions’ letter reads. “Drug overdoses, including overdoses caused by the lethal substance fentanyl and its analogues, killed more than 64,000 Americans in 2016 and now rank as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In the face of all of this death, we cannot continue with business as usual.”

While Sessions’ letter focuses on opioids, the existing laws cited in the letter can also be used to seek the death penalty in marijuana-related cases as well.

The Denver Post reports that the federal laws are not limited to specific drugs, and that “anyone convicted of cultivating more than 60,000 marijuana plants or possessing more than 60,000 kilograms of a substance that contains marijuana could face death as a punishment.”

Other crimes punishable by death cited in the memo that could apply to marijuana traffickers include: violent crimes tied to racketeering charges, murder connected to a criminal drug enterprise and the use of a firearm resulting in death during a drug trafficking crime.

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