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

48 comments

Jen S
Jen Syesterday

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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Janis K
Janis K4 days ago

Thanks

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Karen H
Karen H4 days ago

Sessions is making money from Big Pharma, as are a lot of our lawmakers. And Big Pharma wants to make big bucks from opioids. Sessions always looks like he's stoned.

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Danii P
Danii P5 days ago

TYFS

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E5 days ago

brian f
BOT. EXCEPT for children and animals because "someone" was careless !!

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Brian F
Brian F5 days ago

Rhoberta E Inez w stated the deaths did not include driving while high on marijuana. Everyone is against driving under the effects of marijuana. The point is that no one has died directly from eating or smoking marijuana.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 days ago

Inez w
I am a health professional as well so to say categorically that NO deaths are caused by marijuana use is actually not true. We saw the deaths and mangled bodies coming through Emergency due to "smoking" and driving.
We also used capsule form of cannabis for some patients.
We have also had child and animal deaths due to adults not securing their marijuana., special products like candy, cookies etc.
Never say never !!

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Winn A
Winn A6 days ago

Noted

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Ruth S
Ruth S6 days ago

Thanks.

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Inez w
Inez w6 days ago

Rhoberta
PLEASE look into statistics of death attributed directly to marijuana use, shame I can't post clickable links on here, but I have a degree in Alcohol and Drugs education and I can catergorically state that not a single soul has been lost to marijuana use.
This isn't uincluding death by stupidity or drug driving, but actual inhaled or eaten marijuana.
You would have to smoke at least 20,000 joints to overdose, and eat about a ton WITHIN 15 minutes to die from ingesting it. To be at risk of fatal poisoning, a user would have to orally ingest more than half a gram of pure THC per kilogram of body mass. This is far more than people consume in a LIFETIME.
In 2006, a study in American Scientist compared the relative toxicity of marijuana to other commonly used substances, including some legal ones. It found that just 10 times the effective dose of alcohol and five times the effective dose of heroin could be enough to cause death in humans. Marijuana ranked among the least toxic drugs.
So there you go folks, real true scientific facts, and not the bull rhetoric spouted by Trump and his coat tail riders

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