Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week gave perhaps his harshest critique of legal cannabis since being appointed by President Trump.
During a speech to law enforcement in Richmond, Sessions said:
“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana — so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
This comes while the legal cannabis movement is gaining steam on the state level. While federal legalization now seems impossible under President Trump, that hardly is the worst case scenario with Sessions. In his speech he continued:
“In the ’80s and ’90s, we saw how campaigns stressing prevention brought down drug use and addiction. We can do this again. Educating people and telling them the terrible truth about drugs and addiction will result in better choices. We can reduce the use of drugs, save lives and turn back the surge in crime that inevitably follows in the wake of increased drug abuse.”
While not naming cannabis directly, Sessions with his earlier comments implied that this “educating . . . the terrible truth” campaign could include marijuana.
At a time when some state governments are rolling out education campaigns about the safe use of cannabis, the federal government may seek similar programming highlighting the dangers of marijuana. No wonder these states have begun passing legislation to protect their legal cannabis industries from the federal government.
Of the medicinal movement, Sessions said during his speech, “I think medical marijuana has been hyped, maybe too much.”
Photo from PhotosForClass.com