Legalization of marijuana has been a difficult issue for a long time. Public opinion favors the use of cannabis for medical purposes and has supported its legalization. Recreational usage in the United States isn’t accepted by all citizens, but it is slowly becoming less of a problem that doesn’t hold much concern these days. Federal laws and regulations still ban the use of marijuana, but for the most part, the legalization of cannabis is a decision for the states to make and not congress. This has not stopped United States Attorney General Sen. Jeff Sessions campaign to stop the legalization of marijuana. In recent interviews, he has repeatedly voiced his concerns, as stated in this quote.
“Marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws. So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide.” “It’s not possible for the federal government, of course, to take over everything the local police used to do in a state that’s legalized it. And I’m not in favor of legalization of marijuana. I think it’s a more dangerous drug than a lot of people realize.” NPR, “Legal Marijuana Advocates Are Uneasy With Sessions’ Stance”, 2017.
For over twenty years, Sen. Jeff Sessions has fought against the legalization of cannabis. His “War On Weed,” hasn’t been able to gain much support. Many people have stated that he has a lack of knowledge on the issue. The information that is accumulated by Jeff is not valid and is out of date. Medical research on marijuana reports Cannabis has many health benefits.
Cannabis is legal in eight states and medical marijuana policies have been established in 28 states.
The US Justice Dept has said that it will not pursue any cases involving marijuana because it is not worth the time or money. A case would only bring a prosecution if that case centered on organized crime networks or if it was sold to children. Drug agencies have stated that resources would best be used on investigations that have a greater bearing on society such as heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. The Justice Dept claims that by directing time and money to bigger cases, society would see an increase in the number of prosecutions of more serious crimes. In this statement by John Walsh, a U.S. Attorney in Colorado during the Obama years, he advises that the Trump Administration should focus on the public opinion as did President Obama.
“So when we in the U.S. Attorney’s office, working with the DEA, looked at a marijuana case here in Colorado, we had to ask ourselves, ‘All right, we have to assume if we take this case to trial, seven out of 12 people sitting in the jury box are statistically likely to have voted for marijuana legalization.” NPR, 2017
The policy of the current administration has reported that it would not allow the Justice Department to block any programs that promote medical cannabis. Public opinion in the United States agrees with the legalization of marijuana showing that policymakers in the US will support its legalization based on the response of their constituents. US Attorney General Sen. Jeff Sessions would find himself in a battle that he could not win. There isn’t enough support to fight against marijuana as stated in this quote by Walsh
“In the world of federal drug trafficking enforcement, marijuana has never been at the top of the list.“ NPR, 2017
Sen. Sessions demonstrates that he has a lack of knowledge about cannabis. He has claimed that “Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana.” Jeff Session’s opinion is that the amount of Americans that use marijuana is very low. The truth is that those who smoke cannabis come from many different social groups in the country. The National Survey on Drug Use And Health has reported that in a thirty day period, twenty-two million American’s have used marijuana. This information shows that the usage rates of cannabis are more common than surmised by Sen. Sessions.
Another mistake by Sen. Sessions is that he says that cannabis is as harmful as heroin. Sen. Sessions is wrong, cannabis is not deadly and the effects are not the same. In 2015 more than 12,000 Americans died from heroin and an additional 16,000 deaths from those caused by prescribed narcotics such as OxyContin, Morphine, and Vicodin. Alcohol and opioids have been reported to kill over 100,000 every year, but not marijuana. Sen Jeff Sessions doesn’t see the benefits of legalizing marijuana but only focuses on his own negative opinions which are not accurate.
The legalization of marijuana is not a partisan issue because both democrats and republicans agree with its legalization. Making marijuana legal for the public is a huge plus for business markets. Arcview Market Research has reported that the acceptance of marijuana has created a $7 billion industry and is expected to reach $22 billion by 2021.
The Data taken by New Frontier has shown that by 2020 the cannabis industry will have created 250,000 new jobs. A recent poll by Quinnipiac reports that public opinion considers the legalization of marijuana to be the responsibility of the states and not the federal government. States are moving ahead with their plans on making cannabis legal. President Trump has said that he is going to let the states handle this issue and not congress.
Even with over surmounting evidence showing that a battle against the legalization of marijuana would not be worth the effort. Sen. Jeff Sessions still chooses not to follow public opinion, and still, chooses to fight as reported here in this quote.
“When they nominated me for attorney general, you would have thought the biggest issue in America was when I said, ‘I don’t think America’s going to be a better place if they sell marijuana at every corner grocery store.’ (People) didn’t like that; I’m surprised they didn’t like that.” – Denver Post – April 2017
The political debate over the legalization of marijuana has created a lot of turmoil in the United States, even when its advantages are proven with facts. It may be wise for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to find another fight to pursue instead of the legalization of cannabis which is already accepted in society. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions may find that he is in a war that will waste time, money, and his credibility.