By Patrick Devlin,
art by verbatim
Donald #tRump loaded his good ‘ol boy, Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, into the senate chamber to see if Sessions’ anti-cannabis obsessions (among many reprehensible sensibilities) would extinguish his appointment to the position of top prosecutor in #cannabis normalizing America.
In a ruse calculated to blunt Sessions’ apparent jonesing for the wholesale harshing of the smoke sessions of Americans who choose to use the useful and generally benign substance that is legal in a majority of our states, cannabis, the Attorney General designate chose to answer questions about this topic in writing – away from the spotlight.
A review of Sessions’ written reply to the Senate judiciary Committee reveals that the backward-thinking and confirmed to be racist appointee is still addled by a manic compunction to ‘bust out hippies’ and (mostly) minorities based upon the lying propaganda that was spoon fed to criminal prosecutors during our 80 year war on #cannabis.
Sessions uses weasel wording and vague threats to convey in his answers that if #tRump gives the order to bring the boot heel of federal government enforcement down to quash America’s nascent (but still worth more than $7 billion a year) #cannabis commerce industry, Beauregard will be quite pleased to refuse medicine to our sick brethren and arrest hundreds of thousands of young Americans each year #tRump stinks up the White House.
Let’s have an look at Sessions’ respondes so we can assess the possible backwards actions we can expect from Beauregard’s Justice Department as he re-initiates the war on cannabis and as millions of patients and citizens brace for a return to the tragic and wasteful era of full federal cannabis prohibition.
“While I am generally familiar with the Cole memorandum, I am not privy to any internal Department of Justice data regarding the effectiveness and value of the policies contained within that memorandum… I will certainly review and evaluate those policies, including the original justifications for the memorandum, as well as any relevant data and how circumstances may have changed or how they may change in the future.”
This answer reveals a great deal about Sessions’ basic honesty. The Cole memo was written to ensure limited law enforcement resources would not be spent chasing sick patients in states where cannabis is legal. The entire intent of the momo is to allow local US Attorney offices to choose to not pursue such ineffective and wasteful law enforcement actions. What is relevant is that not persuing cannabis as a crime has enabled the DOJ to fight real crime. What is irrelevant is Sessions’ insinuation that somehow there is low value or no value in saving law enforcement resources.
Additionally, since the Publication of the Cole memorandum, several additional states have legalized cannabis for either recreational use or out of medical necessity. This means that circumstances have indeed changed – more and more Americans demand that cannabis be legalized and demand an end to the war on cannabis.
These changing circumstances can only point to the need for Sessions to propose federal cannabis legalization- not a reinstitution of its prohibition. In short, Sessions answer neglects the intent of the Cole memo and disregards Americans’ current demand to abolish cannabis prohibition.
“I will not commit to never enforcing Federal law. Whether an arrest and investigation of an individual who may be violating the law is appropriate is a determination made in individual cases based on the sometimes unique circumstances surrounding those cases, as well as the resources available at the time.”
This is boiler-plate prohibitionist speak and an overt threat. Sessions threat to “enforce the law” is a hardline stance that contradicts both the Cole memo and the will of the Americans who have voted to legalize cannabis.
Sessions knows that congressional politics in Washington is the reason that cannabis is not yet federally legal while it is legal in more than 30 states. Cannabis is illegal because of timorous politicians- not because it is a dangerous drug for individuals or for society.
In states where cannabis is legal, there are less opioid overdoses, less auto accidents, less incidents of spousal abuse, less suicides and there are more suffering patients who are receiving the medicine they need to live and be healthy.
Sessions’ law enforcer’s fear of not enforcing the law with regard to cannabis has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with his disdain for voters’ choice, his jonesing to arrest minorities and his ugly and discompassionate desire to withhold medicine from our sick brethren – that is downright immoral.
The fact is, laws prohibiting cannabis have been used for 40 years to discriminate against America’s minorities – I guess ‘ol Beauregard’s wants to keep his options open when it comes to cracking down on minorities.
One wonders if Sessions would have threatened to “enforce the laws” that allowed Americans to own slaves, or Jim Crow laws that resulted in discrimination. Whether or not a law may be patently immoral, the enforcement lusting Sessions is chomping at the bit to do some mindless enforcing.
“A recent federal court ruling that a Congressional rider prevents the Justice Department from going after people complying with state medical marijuana laws “is relatively recent, and I am not familiar with how other courts may have interpreted the relevant appropriations language or the Ninth Circuit’s opinion. As an emerging issue, that is one that will need to be closely evaluated in light of all relevant law and facts…I will conduct such a review. Of course, medical marijuana use is a small part of the growing commercial marijuana industry.”
Here Sessions, feigning a concern for the same sick Americans he moments earlier threatened with arrest, is projecting a Trumpist type of warning – “We are coming for recreational cannabis users.”
Again Beauregard suggests that there are other relevant “emerging issues” with respect to legalizing cannabis beyond the simple and incontrovertible fact that the majority of Americans want #cannabis to be federally legalized. What other facts are “emerging, Jeffrey? That #cannabis is a “gateway drug” (disproven) that more of our nation’s children will become cannabis zombies? (youth cannabis use is down across America).
Just what emerging facts are you scratching for, Beauregard? Final proof that Henry Anslinger was correct in the 1930s when he opined that cannabis use will lead to young American whites listening to Jazz music?
On “good people don’t smoke marijuana“: My words have been grossly mischaracterized and taken out of context… I was discussing the value of treating people for using dangerous and illegal drugs like marijuana, and the context in which treatment is successful.”
Beauregard, the future US Attorney General, shows here that he can willfully disregard scientific fact. Cannabis has been declared by our own government to be safe. Safer than tobacco, safer than alcohol, safer than prescription pain killers.
Cannabis has been found also to make us all safer, by teating Parkinson’s patients, traumatic brain injury patients, cancer patients…the list of cannabis’s gifts of public health and safety is long and supported by science. The predicate of your statement, Beauregard, reveals you to be either ignorant or a liar.
“I will defer to the American Medical Association and the researchers at the National Institutes of Health and elsewhere about the medical effects of marijuana. Without having studied the relevant regulations in depth, I cannot say whether they may need to be eased in order to advance research; but, I will review this.”
Another act of dishonesty for our future highest law enforcement officer in this statement.
The national Institutes of Health recently (and by that I mean very recently) concluded the largest study of research into medical cannabis, and amongst its conclusions: Cannabis is a real and helpful medicine – but we need more studies to find out what the full benefits of medical cannabis are because law enforcement’s insistence on treating the substance as both dangerous and illegal has lead to the situation where cannabis is one of the least studied substances on the planet.
Quite basically, because cannabis is illegal – doctors themselves report not knowing how beneficial it may be to help treat and perhaps cure sick Americans.
Sessions’ written answers regarding cannabis legalization oozes with fringed concern about public safety and patient health. Hey Beauregard, if we are to take you at your word, quit with the deceptive and anti-science mumbling and justifications for police bigotry and demand federal legalization now.