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Hey, Mr. Sessions

Feb 28, 2017 04:57PM, Published by Leland Rucker, Categories: Cannabis News Essay


Courtesy Flickr. This caricature of Jeff Sessions was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore's Flickr's photostream.



I understand you’re trying to put the fear of God into the cannabis industry in states where it’s legal, strutting your new AG feathers with some big talk about how the Feds, or as you call them, the Adults, are gonna flex their muscles and teach us a lesson.

States’ rights? Not applicable here, Mr. Republican?

Fact is, now that Colorado and other states have decided not to support your expensive, stupid failure, the War on Drugs, the industry is run by mostly good people trying, yes, to make a living in an atmosphere complicated by people like yourself trying to create policy based on your belief system rather than actual knowledge. You don’t know what you think you know.

You could have done something positive. You could have said that you’re interested in finding out more about cannabis, since it’s not been studied in the US for decades because of federal restrictions. You could have said that you support research into why one in seven Americans, at least, use the plant. You could have said that you want to work with states, to meet elected officials and industry people and find out what’s really going on.

Nah. “I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot.” Dude, that ship has already sailed. This isn’t a partisan issue. Millions of Americans use marijuana openly and proudly, and millions more use it privately. Are you really saying that one in every seven or eight Americans are bad people?

Does it even cross your mind that Republicans use marijuana, too? More than 60 percent of Americans express support for legalized cannabis for adults in any poll you care to look at. That’s more than 15 percent higher than the percentage of Americans who voted for your boss. Hello in there.

“I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.” Higher THC levels are causing “real violence?” Were it true, that would be major news. If it were legal in other states that border ours, they wouldn’t have any of the “violence” you’re talking about. And please, let us know where you got that information. 45 just said this week that he doesn’t like unnamed sources.

You could listen to the growing numbers of your former colleagues in Congress who support legislation that would clear up the banking situation for businesses in their states. You’re collecting federal taxes from these businesses even though they’re, as you say, bad people. You pine for the days of Nancy Reagan and Just Say No. Does it even dawn on you that the kids who went through that program are the marijuana users of today?

You say you’re worried about teen use. But Gov. Hickenlooper, on Meet the Press Sunday, said that’s steady in our state and in some cases down from previous times. How will cracking down protect teens?

Why disrupt an experiment that has even won over our anti-pot governor in Colorado, provided jobs and pumped billions into state and local economies and put thousands of residents to work, just because you believe good people don’t use cannabis? Taxes collected in Colorado won’t save or sink the economy. It’s only a tiny percentage of the state budget. But $200 million dollars is enough to fund scientists to learn more about cannabis and its effects and educate adults and teens about its use. Certainly it’s better than turning a billion-dollar-a-year business back over to the cartels or whoever chooses to provide cannabis to Americans who are going to use it no matter what.

Almost ninety percent of Americans support medical marijuana. Make a date with Sean Spicer and both your staffs and watch a Sanjay Gupta CNN Weed special on veterans with PTSD finding relief with cannabis. Talk about the opioid crisis with someone besides the pharmaceutical industry, study it, instead of merely blaming something that has nothing to do with it.

In spite of 45’s pronouncements about murder, crime is not on the rise in the United States. It isn’t because of Barack Obama, or the Dems, or the Republicans, it’s just a fact. Which means that you’re gonna need some culprits to be the Law and Order administration.

You’ve recently said that the federal government will reverse course and begin to employ private prisons. Since those places succeed only if they’re full – several have been closed or consolidated here in Colorado, by the way -- you just may need someone to keep them full, and what better than bad people (hombres, dudes) who use marijuana. Sad. -- Leland Rucker

Illustration courtesy Flickr. This caricature of Jeff Sessions was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore's Flickr's photostream


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