Weasel Jeff Sessions Pushed Congress to Let Him Prosecute Medical Marijuana Providers (VIDEO)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked congressional legislators to roll back medical marijuana protections that were enacted in 2014, according to a letter written in May and made public Monday.
Jeff Sessions doesn’t care if medical marijuana helps you
These protections are known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, and they prevent the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent certain states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution and possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”
In his letter, obtained by Tom Angell of Massroots.com and verified by The Washington Post, Sessions argues that the amendment will “inhibit [the Justice Department’s] authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.
“I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.”
But pot rarely drives people to violent crime, and research conducted in Colorado by the Drug Policy Alliance shows that Sessions is barking up the wrong tree. The DPA noted that studies show that the recreational use of marijuana hasn’t driven up violent crime rates in the state since the law was implemented. The study also found that a well-regulated industry can actually drive crime rates down by curtailing black market cartels. Other states that have legalized marijuana like Washington and Oregon, have seen crime rates drop. Washington saw violent crime rates drop by 10 percent.
Really, pot is more likely to make you hunker down with your favorite movie and a bag of Doritos instead of going out to rob a bank. It’s as simple as that.
But as Consumerist notes, Sessions’s letter paints marijuana as a drug that leads people down the dark path to organized crime, citing a case that involved a Colorado pot operation that allegedly shipped and sold weed outside of the state. But half of the 16 people charged in the case had already received licenses to operate legal marijuana-related businesses in the state.
Sessions also complained that a 2016 ruling by a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals prevents the Justice Department from prosecuting these kinds of cases.
However, that’s patently wrong. The Ninth Circuit ruling specifically allows the DOJ to prosecute cases in which suspects “do not strictly comply with all state-law conditions regarding the use, distribution and possession, and cultivation of medical marijuana.” Not only that, but the Colorado case that Sessions cites was a joint effort between state law enforcement and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which is a division of the DOJ.
So Sessions is either stupid, or his letter smacks of hypocrisy. He cites the “historic drug epidemic” because he apparently wants to crack down on marijuana users, but fails to mention the out-of-control opioid epidemic currently occurring int his country, notes The Washington Post. A mounting body of research shows that deaths caused by opiate drugs actually decrease in states where medical marijuana is legal.
The research provides strong evidence that cracking down on medical marijuana laws, which is what Sessions wants to do, may make the opioid epidemic in the U.S. even worse than it is now.
And this isn’t the first time the DOJ has tried to undermine the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment. It even sought to do this during Obama’s presidency, by spreading misinformation to members of Congress as part of an effort to influence debate over the amendment. The DOJ, ruled one federal judge, tried to enforce the legislation in a way that “defies language and logic,” “tortures the plain meaning of the statute,” and is “at odds with fundamental notions of the rule of law.”
This amendment has plenty of bipartisan support in Congress, and medical marijuana is very popular among voters. An April Quinnipiac Poll found that it was supported by 94 percent of the public, the Post reports. And nearly three-quarters of voters said they don’t approve of the government pushing federal marijuana laws on states that have legalized it medically or recreationally.
Through a spokesperson Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) had this to say:
“Mr. Sessions stands athwart an overwhelming majority of Americans, and even, sadly, against veterans and other suffering Americans who we now know are helped dramatically by medical marijuana.”
Clearly Sessions is not interested in what is best for sick people. Surely he must know that more and more people in pain will turn to opiate drugs to ease their suffering. And this comes at a time when Republicans are doing their level best to take away healthcare from millions of Americans. Restricting access to marijuana, something that is frequently easily affordable, is exceedingly cruel and may lead to more deaths, because opioids are so toxic.
Think of that while Sessions testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Think of that while he avoids answering important questions.
Really, the guy is a weasel. He’s an insult to actual weasels.
In the video below, you can watch Sessions wax delusional about medical marijuana.
Photo courtesy of Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images