The real problem of Sessions–it’s not the Russians

Forget a few conversations that did or did not happen with the Russian ambassador, Sessions real damage is leading the DOJ in an amazingly stupid and misguided direction on drug policy.  Nice article in Wired on how absurd it is for him to use the opiate crisis as an excuse to crack down on medical marijuana:

IF THERE’S ANYTHING Jeff Sessions hates more than answering rapid-fire questions in front of a packed Intelligence Committee hearing, it’s a bag of stinky bud. The Attorney General’s distaste for marijuana is well documented. His Reefer Madness-era alarmism is so anachronistic it’s almost quaint. Or at least it would be if he weren’t using its outdated data to launch an attack on states’ rights to authorize medical marijuana

While it’s true that yes, the US is in the midst of a “historic drug epidemic,” marijuana is not the drug that kills 91 Americans every single day. It is also not responsible for the quadrupling in overdose deaths in the US since 1999. In fact, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration—which Sessions oversees—no deaths from marijuana overdose have ever been recorded. The epidemic the AG referred to is, of course, the deadly opioid sort—drugs like oxycodone, methadone, heroin, and fentanyl. No one is losing family members to some THC oil.

Using this very real public health crisis to justify cracking down on medical marijuana isn’t just disingenuous, it’s irresponsible. Because marijuana, it turns out, is actually pretty great at managing chronic pain…

But it shouldn’t take a PhD or an MD to understand that cutting off people’s access to pot won’t make their symptoms go away. And pot, unlike opioids, doesn’t have a fatal dose.

McCormick says that’s something that states are starting to understand. “We’ve gotten really good feedback that our report is helping them set policies,” she said. “And at the end of the day it’s states that are basically running this thing.”

Well, they are for now. But not if Sessions gets his way. And that’s where researchers like McCormick start to get a little worried. “Once you’ve made up your mind about something, presenting alternative evidence only reinforces what you already think,” she says. Sessions thinks pot is ruining this country, not helping patients. “I really doubt whether this report or any other could convince the AG otherwise.”

Ugh.  Of course, Sessions shouldn’t be lying to Congress about Russia, but this is just another terrific example of the media’s obsession with pretty much everything political except the actual policy that is so important to people’s lives.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to The real problem of Sessions–it’s not the Russians

  1. Terrant says:

    I think part of the opposition stems from special interersts that would like to see marijuana banned for medicinal use as it cuts into their profits.

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