Breaking news out of Trump’s White House indicates that marijuana use may have contributed to the violent events at Bowling Green and perhaps even in Sweden.
At least, in the opinion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that could be the case. Despite repeated promises by Trump on the campaign trail to leave states alone that have legalized recreational cannabis, the Trump administration appears to be gearing up to take aim at the legal marijuana industry. On Monday, he told reporters at the Justice Department that “real violence” is connected to cannabis use:
Sessions further said that experts have told him there is “more violence around marijuana,” than one would think.
“You can’t sue somebody for a drug debt,” Sessions said, on Monday. “The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that.”
“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot,” Sessions said. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”
If he was just a tiny bit smarter, he’d realize he’s actually arguing in favor of legalization. I live in Portland, Oregon. Here’s a couple of notes about the recreational dispensary located a convenient four blocks from my house — first, they are a small business. Small businesses aren’t in the habit of fronting people inventory; you typically pay for what you’re purchasing, and leave. The second point here is going to require a bit of imagination.
Let’s imagine that they have fronted me untold amounts of cannabis, and I haven’t paid. So they send a strongman to my house to get the money and…I just call the cops, because weed is legal, I’m not incriminating myself by calling, and using “strong-arm tactics” to get money you are owed is illegal. Federal courts aren’t going to treat it as a legitimate product, sure, but the answer to that is complete legalization, not wasting millions of dollars in pointless enforcement and court battles with individual states.
He said some other genuinely dumb shit as well:
Sessions then appeared to criticize a column The Washington Post published Tuesday by Sam Kamin, professor of marijuana law and policy at the University of Denver. In the op-ed, Kamin argues that the opioid crisis is “a reason to expand access to marijuana rather than to contract it.” A 2016 study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found “adverse consequences of opioid use” decreased over time in states where marijuana is legalized as individuals substituted marijuana for opioids to treat pain.
But Sessions scoffed at Kamin’s reasoning.
“Give me a break,” Sessions said. “This is the kind of argument that has been out there. [It’s] almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even benefits. I doubt that’s true. Maybe science will prove me wrong. … My best view is that we don’t need to be legalizing marijuana.”
Well, Sessions, science has, indeed, proved you wrong. Your “best view” is both behind the times and demonstrably false. There is so much information out there demonstrating the benefits of cannabis in combating the opiate epidemic and treating chronic pain that if you’re the Attorney General, and ignorant of it, it’s by choice.
It’s time for the failed war on drugs to draw to a close. All prohibition of cannabis accomplishes is driving people who self-medicate or are prescribed cannabis for chronic pain to use prescription opiates instead, finances the cartels and fuels violence, and makes the Fox News crowd happy. The “gateway drug” shtick is old and false. Sean Spicer and Jeff Sessions think that increased recreational use of cannabis has led to the opiate epidemic, rather than excessive and improper prescriptions (as evidence shows). This is so wrong and out-of-touch that it shows they have no interest in actually helping or rehabilitating heroin and oxy addicts — they are only interested in using them as a political prop that justifies attacking rights they don’t believe people should have. So much for “small government,” eh?
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