The bogeyman of the week, Jeff Sessions, has been the talk of the 420 Community thanks to a media hype machine that has gone out of its way to assure us that all of our worst nightmares are coming true. Stepping into the realms of pure personal opinion here, Sessions is a bad dude. His notorious quote in regards to the Ku Klux Klan in which he said he thought they were “okay until I found out they smoked pot” can’t be unheard despite his claims that it was all a “joke” (ha…ha?) and that he’s not a racist. It’s pretty much impossible to ignore the racist tone of that sentence but since this is a blog devoted to cannabis, let’s at least try for a minute and instead take a look at that “not joking” portion of the sentence: the part where he turns his nose up in disgust at marijuana use and, by association, marijuana legislation.
Sessions' Passion for Prohibition
Sessions hates weed. He hasn’t mentioned this as a passing statement; he’s actually devoted real effort to keeping marijuana prohibition in business. Who can blame people whose livelihoods require marijuana legislation to actually stick for being a bit worried that Trump wants to appoint an Attorney General of the United States who just this April made the asinine statement “good people don’t smoke marijuana
”? That being said, I don’t think marijuana policy will change much under Sessions. But hey, let’s just jump into the nightmare by imagining it, shall we?
Wildly Out-of-Touch Perspectives
Trump’s nomination of Sessions seems rooted in rubbing his opponents’ noses in his victory as he has been on a streak of appointing a who’s who of nominees with ties to racism, sexism, homophobia, and prohibitionism; all issues that deeply concern the anti-Trump half of the country. Sessions isn’t exactly a darling of the Republican Party. In fact, former president Ronald Reagan, despite his staunch conservatism, balked at Sessions’ racist comments and withdrew his own nomination of Sessions for a federal judicial seat following outcry from the NAACP. This was in 1986, after Sessions had stated his belief that the NAACP was an “un-American” organization. See how this guy makes it hard to ignore the racism? We’ll get back to the weed now but I just wanted to remind you that this guy is wildly out-of-touch.
Federal Law vs. State-Voted Marijuana Legislation
Sessions hasn’t been lighter on his opinion on devil weed. His words and actions evidence that he’s fully subscribed to outdated, archaic Reefer Madness
-style propaganda as solid science, referring to marijuana legalization as a “very real danger.” He’s often been a vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s leniency (by comparison) when it comes to state-voted marijuana legislation. If Trump’s suggestion of Sessions as attorney general passes, he would have a lot of power to direct toward knocking down dispensary doors. But that doesn’t necessarily mean such actions would be easy or even successful. State laws are governed by states, so Sessions wouldn’t have the ability to contract state law enforcement to do his bidding. He’d actually need to use strictly federal resources to enforce a federal law in a state with opposing laws.
Challenging the Will of the American People
Another problem that Sessions (and through him, Trump) face with prohibitionist views is that they directly oppose the desires of the American majority. It pains me to consider that the average American values the freedom to smoke marijuana more than racial equality but chances are that many Americans are going to be more upset about Jeff Sessions coming for their stash than refusing to prosecute human rights violations. I think that this is apparent to Trump’s cabinet of ring-wraiths or whatever they are and that this will keep them somewhat at bay. Prohibition just isn’t profitable enough. In fact, it could cost them quite a bit of money to try to shut down the marijuana legislation that’s already in play. Trump’s behavior may be erratic but chances are that he wants to, at least in some form, succeed. Challenging the American people’s demand for marijuana legalization could result in a prolonged and humiliating failure for the Trump cabinet.
Of course, I also can’t believe half the stuff I read about Trump so we’ll see how far he’s willing to go to troll people. While he’s proven that limit is a lot further than most, I don’t see him going kamikaze style and crashing his cabinet into a blazing civil war because Jeff Sessions still deludes himself with the idea that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol. So, it might be a bit early to flush your stash and kiss the last few years of progress farewell. Chances are that if your state has already passed marijuana legislation, you’re sitting in a safe zone of sorts as far as ganja is concerned. The other states might see a bit more resistance but if Trump actually manages to hold a single position he had during his run for office, perhaps it will be a state’s right to legalize marijuana.