Will Trump wage a new War on Drugs?
President-elect Donald Trump’s hard-right pick of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General has marijuana advocates across the nation sounding the alarm – and for good reason.
Just two weeks ago today, Americans in four states (California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts) joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska by passing ground-breaking legislation to end marijuana prohibition and instead put in place a regulatory system to provide recreational access to marijuana for adults over the age of 21. There are now a total of eight states in the U.S. with legal recreational marijuana.
All this progress could be undone by one man – Senator Jeff Sessions, should he become the next Attorney General of the United States. As Attorney General, Mr. Sessions could rescind two key Justice Department directives. These directives, known as the Cole and Ogden memos, told federal investigators to lay off medical marijuana (learn more at Simple Justice – A Criminal Defense Blog) and step back from prosecutions.
According to the New York Times and John Hudak of the Brookings Institution:
The only person that could stop a newly appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions – from dismantling medical and recreational marijuana laws across this country – is, well, President-elect Trump.
Buy John Hudak’s recent book on Amazon: Marijuana: A Short History.
Throughout Mr. Sessions’ 19 years in the Senate, he has been a rabid opponent of any legislation that smacks of drug reform. Senator Sessions is an outspoken opponent of medical marijuana, denying cannabis possesses any medical value – despite the voluminous evidence to the contrary. Learn more about the War on Drugs with this interesting and fact filled infographic and dig into the details on Vox.com.
Senator Sessions was even described as a militant prohibitionist by NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri in his recent blog post about the Sessions pick.
Senate Hearing with Jeff Sessions discussing his views on Marijuana.
Let’s take a listen to our possible future Attorney General.
U.S. Senate Hearing – April 5th, 2016 | Senator Jeff Sessions
Skip forward to 8min 45 sec into the video (8:45) and hear the now famous line from Senator Sessions: “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
The nation’s leading organization advocating an end to the war on drugs, the Drug Policy Alliance (drugpolicy.org), believes marijuana prohibition inflicts far more harm than good on a society and strongly resists a return to the Reagan-era drug policies.
The DPA has even started a “Stop the Jeff Sessions Nomination” petition, as they fear Sessions will not only go after the legal recreational marijuana in Alaska, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine and D.C., but also look to squash medical marijuana now available in half the states in the U.S.
Rachel Maddow did a great segment all about Senator Sessions, his racist past, and his staunch, ill-informed and antiquated policy views.
Watch a clip from the episode below.