In what seemed like a throwback to an earlier era of demonetization of cannabis users and outright lies regarding the medical effects of marijuana, Sessions invoked Nancy Reagan as a model of how to properly fight a
civil drug war, saying it’s important that we begin “educating people and telling them the terrible truth” about the evils of the devil’s lettuce based on a surge in overdose deaths from opioids–mostly as a direct result of the over-prescription of highly addictive “legal” medication like Oxycontin and Fentanyl–with the rhetoric reaching a fevered pitch by saying marijuana will “destroy your life”. Despite all the saber rattling Sessions also admitted that crime is lower than it has been in several decades, but apparently he has a plan to fix that.
“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. 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.”
Despite the resurgence of drug war rhetoric, Sessions proceeded to offer a vague note of reassurance on the future of state-legal recreational marijuana. Sessions said that “much” of the Cole memorandum is “valid,” and he recognized that federal law enforcement is “not able to go into a state and pick up the work that police and sheriffs have been doing for decades.”
I guess we’ll see about that.