Jeff Sessions Should Leave Legalized Pot Alone

The Justice Department recently announced plans to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana, and even non-users should be getting fired up.

According to a 2017 survey, more than half of Americans have tried pot at least once. Most of them say that weed should be legalized for recreational use. Only 26 percent of those who haven’t used the drug say the same.

But those who abstain from marijuana should still oppose Attorney Jeff Sessions’ decision.

Keeping marijuana illegal causes more problems than it solves. It helps props up systemic racism, for instance. Black people are nearly four times more likely than whites to get arrested for marijuana offenses, though they use the drug at similar rates. And the disparity creates long-term damage.

According to the Sentencing Project, one in 13 African Americans can’t vote because of a felony conviction. Given that nearly half of felonies are drug-related and half of drug arrests are made for marijuana, pot is a major culprit in people of color’s disenfranchisement.

Those charged with marijuana-related offenses also lose access to opportunties to turn their lives around.

Employment discrimination against people who have already served their time is alive and well. And those convicted on any drug offense, including misdemeanors, aren’t allowed to receive federal financial aid to help pay for college — even though most other felons have a shot at grants and loans.

Legalizing marijuana is not a panacea for repairing the broken U.S. justice system, but the move is a step in the right direction.

Furthermore, marijuana can be a substitute for more destructive drugs. A New Mexico study showed patients with chronic pain were 17 times more likely to quit prescription opioids if they had access to legal medical marijuana.

Marijuana legalization offers economic benefits, as well. Colorado made half a billion dollars in tax revenue from the legal pot industry in 2017. By 2020, New Frontier Data predicts that the cannabis industry may create more jobs than manufacturing.

No wonder legislators across the political aisle are angry at Sessions’ latest crackdown.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

57 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y15 days ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y15 days ago

thanks

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John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J15 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 months ago

Thank you

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Jen S
Jen S2 months ago

Jeff Sessions should resign; he is a disgrace on the same order of Trump, Pence.

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Bill E
Bill Eagle2 months ago

Jeff Sessions should be impeached along with Trump and Pence.

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Lesa D
Lesa D3 months ago

Jeff Sessions should just LEAVE!!!

thank you Emily...

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Jen S
Jen S3 months ago

Jeff Sessions is a typical Republican, to whom the will of the people means nothing. On a good day, he is tarnished by lying to Congress about his exposure/participation in the Trump/Putin soap opera. On an average day, he is arrogant to believe he knows best for the country, rather like McConnell, dragging us all back to the tenth century. Given the whining about the deficit, perhaps he should consider the simple economics of criminalizing marijuana. The cost of incarceration is absurd, all for his outdated version of an outdated morality.

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