Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to Congress asking him to free the Department of Justice to prosecute state-licensed medical marijuana providers. The letter was written last month, but went public on Monday, as reported by The Washington Post.
This makes for a pretty eventful week for the rookie Attorney General, who also appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week to stammer his way through explaining why he lied under oath about his contact with Russian officials and how recommending the firing of FBI Director James Comey was not an effort to help the president obstruct justice.
But, even with accusations of perjury and treason, Sessions has made time for an issue he obviously considers of urgent importance to the American people: waging a war on marijuana. You know, marijuana, that plant that is legal to use for medical purposes in most of the country and is considered to be mostly harmless by an serious study on the subject and which most Americans support the legalization of.
Sessions’ letter to Congress asked them to roll back protections against medical marijuana providers because, in his words, the Justice 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.” He requests specifically that Congress ditch the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, a rule which bars the DOJ from spending federal funds to fight state-legalized marijuana business.
His request is perfectly logical if you consider medical marijuana collectives who have been vetted and licensed by state governments to be “dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.” But pretty much no one does. So what exactly is he talking about?
In the letter, Sessions connects the sale and use of marijuana to the country’s “historic drug epidemic” and its “potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.” The Attorney General is staunch denier of cannabis health claims, particularly ones which claim (via rigorous scientific research) that legalized medical marijuana can actually decrease the use of the addictive opiates. “Give me a break,” Sessions said of these claims in February, calling them, “almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits.”
In a speech to leaders of local, state, and federal law enforcement, Sessions chose to spend more time talking about cannabis legalization than either the opioid epidemic or gun violence, and called cannabis use “a life-wrecking dependency” that is “only slightly less awful” than heroin addiction.