Clint Sharp|United States
It’s no secret that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is strongly opposed to the legalization of marijuana. In fact, the former U.S Senator’s staunch rejection of cannabis has cemented him in the minds of pro-weed individuals and groups across the country as the single greatest threat to their cause that currently exists. Upon taking office as the Secretary of the Department of Justice, Sessions wasted no time in enacting his plan to keep the Devil’s lettuce out of the hands of citizens. In order to do this, Sessions redacted several Obama-era guidances that allowed states to legalize marijuana, with little to no interference from the federal government. Love him or hate him, Obama’s actions fell in line with the 10th Amendment of the Constitution which states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
This left many, both conservative and liberal alike, with a bad taste in their mouth for Sessions. However, this wasn’t the first time that Sessions has expressed his resentment for marijuana.
The earliest known instance of Sessions’ hate for weed occurred in 1986 while he was trying to become the District Court judge for the South District of Alabama. Here, a fellow attorney by the name of Thomas Figures, testified against Sessions for saying that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot”. This statement, in conjunction with other negative testimonies, resulted in the withdrawal of his nomination to the district court. While he later said that he meant it as a joke, it exposed his misconstrued priorities to the nation and set the standard his future marijuana policies. Later, at a Senate drug hearing in April 2016, Sessions made repeatedly attacked marijuana and the users of the plant, stating “Good people don’t smoke pot”, angering those who support the legalization of pot, as well as disregarding those who use marijuana medicinally.
It is unclear what birthed Jeff Sessions’ hatred for cannabis, but what is clear is the threat that he may pose to the booming legal weed business. Unless we do something to prevent him from infringing on state’s rights, we may soon be living in Sessions’ dream. One where weed is illegal and a highly valuable resource is left discarded, waiting for those wise enough to recognize its power to use it.
Happy 4/20 everybody!