Jeff Sessions is a powerful man. As you probably know, he is the Attorney General of the United States, and he previously served as a Republican Senator in Alabama. During his time in the Senate, Sessions became known as one of the more conservative politicians on either side of the aisle. Like many die-hard elephants, Jeff Sessions has strong convictions toward several hot topics: he’s incredibly anti-abortion, is skeptical of climate change, and most topically, wants to criminalize marijuana across the states.
As seen in the media, JEff Sessions has created a stir across the country. His name is in the news a lot, often with headlines entailing his war on marijuana. It’s true; Sessions has made quite the fuss over cannabis. He simply believes that it has no place in the United States.
Most recently, Jeff Sessions met with Congress and asked permission to prosecute medical cannabis suppliers (who are acting legally within their state laws), because they’re violating federal laws, through reauthorized civil asset forfeiture. Just like the headlines read, our Attorney General wishes to start a war on drugs, which would look much different from the Reagan-era attack of the past.
Sessions’ appeal to Congress, written in a letter, stated: “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of a historic drug epidemic and a potentially long-term uptick in violent crime.”
Soon, Jeff Sessions will receive an answer from Congress, letting him know the federal government’s official stance on cannabis, medical marijuana in particular. It is likely, however, that this new war on drugs will fail.
Not only would this fight tackle issues of state government versus federal control, but the cannabis industry is also growing; Jeff Sessions would be at odds with powerful interests and many, many Americans who support medical marijuana. As we’ve seen in recent years, medical cannabis has blossomed, even appearing in several states (like Florida) who have had turbulent, criminalized histories with marijuana legislation.
One of the most important factors, however, is the voice of the medical community. Over the past few decades, practitioners of modern medicine have been aiming to answer a big question: is cannabis clinically useful? The results have been positive. In January, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) reported that there is “conclusive evidence” that marijuana is clinically effective in treating several ailments and diseases.
The NAS report showed proof of the benefits of medical marijuana, including both the plant’s flower and extracts, from treatment to pain management. Many argue that cannabis can replace opioids, which are an addictive and often abused substance within the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA suggests that cannabis can be an effective tool in dealing with the current opioid crisis, with research indicating that “states with such laws have nearly a 25 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths.” Also, there are zero reports of teens or adults overdosing on marijuana alone, as per the NIDA Drug Facts page.
It would appear, with this staggering support from the medicinal community, that marijuana use does not coincide with Jeff Sessions’ claims of danger and violence. Instead, medical marijuana is proving to be instrumental in a quieter war, the legal use and addiction of opioids. At the very least, cannabis is paving the way in the medical arena for an alternative, natural approach to healing.
So, what’s the fuss? Well, for now, it’s Jeff Sessions’ plea for Congress to take down the medical marijuana industry, obstructing both medical advancement and the check-and-balance system between two governments. Until that happens, though, don’t worry. Science in on cannabis’ side.
Article By: Savannah Nelson