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Thread: Trump’s pick for attorney general: ‘Good people don’t smoke marijuana’

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Trump’s pick for attorney general: ‘Good people don’t smoke marijuana’

    Trump’s pick for attorney general: ‘Good people don’t smoke marijuana’
    By Christopher Ingraham November 18 at 2:19 PM

    Sen. Jeff Sessions: 'Good people don't smoke marijuana'

    Play Video1:1
    In a Senate drug hearing in April 2016, Sessions said that 'we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.' (U.S. Senate Drug Caucus)

    President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to be attorney general of the United States, The Washington Post and other news outlets reported Friday. Sessions is a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization whose elevation to attorney general could deal a blow to state-level marijuana legalization efforts across the country.


    At a Senate drug hearing in April, Sessions said that “we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” He voiced concern over statistics showing more drivers were testing positive for THC, the active component in marijuana, in certain states.


    [Senators held a hearing to remind you that ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana’ (yes, really)]


    Sessions further argued that a lack of leadership from President Obama had been one of the drivers of the trend toward marijuana legalization in recent years. “I think one of [Obama's] great failures, it's obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana,” Sessions said at the hearing. “It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started ‘Just Say No.’ ”


    He added that lawmakers and leaders in government needed to foster “knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about . . . and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”


    Opponents of legalization are cheering the news about the senator from Alabama, saying it may be a potential game-changer in legalization debates around the country. Sessions “is by far the single most outspoken opponent of marijuana legalization in the U.S. Senate,” Kevin Sabet, of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said in an email. “If I were betting on the prospects for marijuana legalization, I’d be shorting.”


    [What the future of marijuana legalization could look like under President Trump]


    Advocates for legalization are, conversely, sounding the alarm. “Jeff Sessions is a drug war dinosaur, which is the last thing the nation needs now,” Ethan Nadelmann, of the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement. “Those who counted on Donald Trump’s reassurance that marijuana reforms ‘should be a state issue’ will be sorely disappointed.”


    Sessions’s anti-pot positions have been consistent throughout his career. As far back as 1986, he joked that he thought the Ku Klux Klan “was okay until I found out they smoked pot,” according to the New York Times.


    The 2016 election could be the beginning of the end for marijuana prohibition

    Play Video1:4
    The 2016 election has proved to be the biggest victory for marijuana reform since 2012, with voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine approving recreational marijuana initiatives. (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)

    At the Senate hearing in April, Sessions spoke approvingly of the “progress” made on drug use, starting with the harsh anti-drug policies of the 1980s. “I can't tell you how concerning it is for me emotionally and personally to see the possibility that we would reverse the progress that we’ve made and let it slip away from us,” he said. “Lives will be impacted, families will be broken up, children will be damaged.”

    He added, “I believe the Department of Justice needs to be clearer” on marijuana legalization.


    Whether an Attorney General Sessions would bring such clarity to the office is an open question at this point. President-elect Trump has said that he believes marijuana legalization should be an issue left to the states.


    Under Obama, the Justice Department explicitly adopted a hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement in states that have legalized the drug, allowing those laws to proceed without interference provided that a number of enforcement priorities, including keeping pot out of the hands of minors, were met. The announcement of that stance in 2013 played a key role in allowing Colorado and Washington to move forward with their marijuana markets.


    “A lot of people forget that [recreational marijuana markets in] Colorado and Washington were pretty much on hold until the governors there received guidance from the Department of Justice,” John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said this month.


    Even simply reversing that guidance could have a chilling effect in states like Maine and Massachusetts that recently approved legalization. Without a tacit green light from the federal government, governors in those states may be hesitant to move forward with legalization policies that remain at odds with federal laws on the books for more than 40 years.


    “I’m still hopeful the new administration will realize that any crackdown against broadly popular laws in a growing number of states would create huge political problems they don’t need and will use lots of political capital they’d be better off spending on issues the new president cares a lot more about,” said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority.


    Angell pointed out that recent polls show roughly 60 percent of Americans approve of legalization and that strong majorities of voters across all parties say the federal government should not interfere with state-level marijuana laws.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...oke-marijuana/

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    I hope Senator Sessions realizes that the War on Drugs needs to stop and be replaced with legalization and regulation starting with marijuana. We have huge battles to fight, battles we must win, such as immigration and trade, taxes, education, health care, defense and so forth, and fighting pot smokers shouldn't be on this list or be allowed to get in our way. Sessions and Trump both need to announce that you both support removing domestic grown cannabis and hemp from the controlled substances list and will encourage code modification by Congress on the earliest possible date thus llowing States to decide this issue. Foreign-grown cannabis and hemp would remain illegal under federal law.

    Then I would strongly recommend that you form a task force immediately that includes LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and work with them to legalize and regulate the illegal drug trade. Here's my ideas for such a legalization:

    1. legalize
    2. regulate under a civil code for age and information of purchaser, quality and quantity of product
    3. domestic-only enterprises, no imports or exports, to avoid international implications or complications
    4. run and operated from A to Z by licensed US Citizens Only
    5. better educate the public before and during purchases (movies at stores, brochures, warnings and info on packages like pharma products) and require proof that education and training are complete prior to purchase
    6. tax all retail sales under the FairTax
    7. use portion of FairTaxes to pay for regulation, education and free on-demand without-stigma rehabilitation for anyone who wants or needs it that only drug purchasers pay for

    I realize that many people oppose legalization of marijuana because they think it's a gateway drug to harmful drugs. This position has failed to do anything to stop or reduce drug use. You can't control, regulate or improve upon an illegal black market trade that thrives on natural human behavior. However, if we legalize, regulate, better educate and rehabilitate, we can make enormous strides in safety, reduce the harm, eliminate the violence, stop illegal immigration running in the drugs and hauling our money out, and better educate everyone on the real risks and consequences of using drugs. It's that simple. We've lost the War on Drugs, we've ruined if not destroyed tens of millions of lives, created wealthy armed violent politically connected armies run and funded by foreign drug cartels, and did so without any valid rational thinking. And what's even worse it is was all done "for the children". No child has benefited from the War on Drugs, they have suffered.

    It's time to stop the insanity of the War on Drugs that arrests more people annually for non-violent drug offenses than any other single category, over 1.5 million Americans a year. So if you wonder why state and local law enforcement don't have the time or money to help enforce US immigration law, it's because their jails are full of pot smokers.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    PS: The idea that "good people don't smoke marijuana" is just wrong. I know why he said this, to try to discourage use, but that isn't a true statement which is why it doesn't stick. Doing the same thing over and over with the same result is a form of insanity. The illegal drug trade grows every year with the population. Since 1913, there were 2% of our population addicted to drugs, and today 2$ of our population is still addicted to drugs. Addiction is a fact of life that needs treatment, a different approach, an understanding, better education, informed purchases, and free rehab for the 2% or anyone else who wants to needs it, that only they as a group of drug users pay for. It's not a good person, bad person issue, it's not a morality issues, it's human behavior that needs regulation, not prohibition.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The new report said that 78 people die every day in the United States from opioid overdoses, a number that has nearly quadrupled since 1999.

    Fraction of addicts receive treatment
    Albany Times Union
    -21 hours ago


    One in 7 Americans will face addiction, surgeon general warns


    New York Daily News
    -15 hours ago
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    MW
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    I'm with Sen. Sessions on this. However, that's not why I like him. It's his positions on immigration that appeal to me.
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post
    The new report said that 78 people die every day in the United States from opioid overdoses, a number that has nearly quadrupled since 1999.

    Fraction of addicts receive treatment
    Albany Times Union
    -21 hours ago


    One in 7 Americans will face addiction, surgeon general warns


    New York Daily News
    -15 hours ago
    This article is about legal pharmaceutical addiction, not recreational drug use.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Legal Opioid Drugs Are Far More Dangerous Than Illegal Ones | Alternet

    www.alternet.org/drugs/legal-opioid-drugs-are-far-more-dangerous-illegal-ones

    Apr 20, 2016 - Nearly two million Americans are addicted to prescription pain relievers.
    Judy likes this.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    America's Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse ...

    https://www.drugabuse.gov/.../americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug...
    With repeated administration of opioid drugs (prescription or heroin), the ..... with a growing number of prescriptions in and diversion from the legal market.



    What are opioids? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research...drugs/opioids/what-are-opioids
    Opioids are medications that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which ...

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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    The main risk in recreational drugs as I understand it is heroin overdose, which usually occurs because of the wrong cut, too pure, user doesn't know of course because it's not regulated and they have no knowledge what the hell it is they're shooting up. If people watched a film in the store about the real risks and consequences of using drugs, read pamphlets telling the truth about the main categories of drugs, most people who aren't already addicted to heroin would never use it because they'd never buy it. If people knew that there's no way to really know whether you have the risk of being an addict often times simply because of your chemistry or knew how addictive certain drugs were and understood what addiction really is, then they would never try it.

    Keeping these drugs illegal makes them far more risky and more dangerous to the public than if they were legal, regulated and dealt with intelligently.
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