Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims the administration is intent on banning marijuana nationwide because it “makes people violent” and “Lady Gaga is addicted to it.”
Describing himself as “heartbroken” when former President Obama spoke out in favor of marijuana, Sessions rebutted Obama’s observation that marijuana is safer than alcohol by citing a renowned expert on substance abuse:
“Lady Gaga says she’s addicted to it and it is not harmless.”
Sessions told reporters on Monday, “Most of you probably know 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. 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.”
Forbes report: Sessions is right that THC levels are much higher, but many consumers are now easily informed as to the THC levels of products. In the past, there was little information regarding THC levels. If anything, the trend is shifting towards microdosing, which is consuming cannabis but in very small amounts–usually 5 mg.
However, the attorney general was wrong when he said that there is real violence surrounding legal marijuana usage. “Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved,” Sessions said. Colorado’s crime rate dropped over 14% after legalization and violent crime dropped in the state of Washington as well. In reality, the big money involved is the amount of tax revenue that states are receiving and the millions that investors are pouring into the industry.
Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority said, “By talking about marijuana and violence, the attorney general is inadvertently articulating the strongest argument that exists for legalization, which that it allows regulated markets in a way that prohibition does not. The only connection between marijuana and violence is the one that exists when illegal sellers battle it out for profits in the black market. A growing number of states are showing that legalization is generating revenues, creating jobs and reducing crime.”
Sessions also said that states could pass the laws they choose, but then he reminded the audience that it remains a violation of federal law whether a state legalizes it or not. This must make many cannabis companies quite nervous, especially companies that have walk-in coolers full of bins of marijuana. That would be some serious prison time.
Yet, at the same time, President Trump was assuring governors that he was returning more power to them. “We’re gonna give you back a lot of the powers that have been taken away from states,” Trump said yesterday. Marijuana laws could be a test to see if Trump stands behind states rights.