Jeff Sessions: Marijuana “Only Slightly Less Awful Than Heroin”

Jeff Sessions: Marijuana “Only Slightly Less Awful Than Heroin”

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America’s in bad shape, according to new Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In a speech given Wednesday to leaders of local, state, and federal law enforcement, the elf-like cabinet member said the American justice system has two big problems: the rise of violent crime and the “unprecedented epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse” in the country.

Luckily, the ingenious new Attorney General has a solution to the country’s problems. It’s very simple really: peel back the legalization of cannabis.

That’s right. After expounding on the horrors of the opioid epidemic, saying that, “Overdose deaths more than tripled between 2010 and 2014” and that “every three weeks, we are losing as many American lives to drug overdoses as we lost in the 9/11 attacks,” Sessions offered what must be, given the severity of the problem, and his position at the top of the justice system, a very thoughtful and well rounded strategy to ending this crisis.

It comes in three stages: “criminal enforcement, treatment and prevention.” But the first two, according to Session’s speech, are not so important. As for enforcement, the AG gave meaningless double-talk, saying that “One of the President’s executive orders directed the Justice Department to dismantle these organizations and gangs – and we will do just that.” As for treatment, he gave only one almost comically brief and flippant remark: “Treatment programs are also vital,” he said. “But treatment often comes too late to save people from addiction or death.” That’s only twenty words!

By contrast, he spent 96 words speaking about the evils of marijuana. He very literally, actually spent five times more words on marijuana than he did on opioid addiction treatment when delivering a speech on how to end the opioid addiction crisis. And twice as many words on preventing the use and sale marijuana as he did on preventing the use and sale of opioids. Literally!

Because prevention is the real lynchpin of this crisis, according to Sessions, and by prevention he means “stop going so easy of people who buy and sell weed.”

Here are his full remarks on cannabis at the event:

“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.”

The AG went on to express nostalgia for the good old Reagan War On Drugs days when the nation knew that, “Educating people and telling them the terrible truth about drugs and addiction will result in better choices.”

But maybe Sessions should start by educating himself, if not on drugs than on simple math. Because while every three weeks, we may lose “as many American lives to drug overdoses as we lost in the 9/11 attacks,” we haven’t lost any lives to marijuana overdose ever. And zero deaths is not “only slightly less awful” than hundreds of thousands.

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