Jeff Sessions Wants To Just Say No, Again

Scene from Reefer Madness

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is apparently trying to revive the “Reefer Madness” movement with his profoundly ignorant statements about marijuana that are dangerous, even deadly.  Sessions said this week that the non-lethal marijuana plant (that is fueling economies legally all over the country) is “Only Slightly Less Awful” than heroin.  His words send a draconian message of non-scientific doublespeak to the already confused masses.  It is abundantly clear that Sessions is clueless about cannabis.

Jeff Sessions photo courtesy: Wikipedia

In his speech Wednesday, Sessions talked about alarming crime rates, yet he fails to tie this to marijuana in even the slightest way, “The latest FBI data tell us that from 2014 to 2015, the violent crime rate in the U.S. increased by more than 3 percent – the largest one-year increase since 1991.  The murder rate increased 10 percent – the largest increase since 1968.  And all of this is taking place amid an unprecedented epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse.”

No kidding, prescription drug abuse and heroin are killing people all over America left and right.  The victims range from housewives to hardcore needle users.  The problem however is that the US government has historically misplaced marijuana among the drug schedules, and to this day the feds maintain that pot is a Schedule 1 drug, therefore worse than methamphetamine.  Have you ever heard stories about meth use?  Unpredictable violence, people staying up for days, even a week or more at a time in what clinicians refer to as a “meth psychosis”.  Meth users steal and subject their bodies to the ravaging effects of this drug that rots teeth, creates body scabs, and leads down the darkest of paths.

Marijuana’s Not a Hard Drug

Marijuana on the other hand, is used in a variety of ways, and one of the biggest reactions people have when using this herb is hunger, aptly called the “munchies”.  When it comes to treating wasting diseases like cancer, pot does wonders by stimulating appetite and causing a person to eat and regain strength.  Marijuana also relaxes a person and allows sleep sufferers to slumber soundly.

Here is the truth, marijuana is not lethal, you can’t die from using it, simple as that.  You will hear some pretty outrageous attempts to make people believe otherwise, but it simply isn’t true.  Sure, people have been involved in fatal circumstances while using pot, but there is always a mitigating factor and that is either drug or alcohol use.  People can argue until they are blue in the face that cannabis is a drug but it is a natural herb.

Top Olympiad Michael Phelps used pot. Photo courtesy: olympic.org

Sessions has pure contempt for pot and his words underscore his massive misunderstanding of the herb that causes people to flourish and create and become Gold Medalists.  Oh heck, Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympiad in history.

“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use.  But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable.  I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.  And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful.  Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”

The late Dr. Phillip Leveque. Photo by Tim King

Session’s contention is simply false and there is far too much evidence to demonstrate that marijuana is not a life destroyer.  The late Dr. Phillip Leveque, a WWII combat veteran who helped Oregon enact its medical marijuana program, treated numerous veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with medical marijuana.  He wrote a column for Salem-News.com in 2014 confirming the success he has had treating combat vets with cannabis, “I have heard from the Vietnam veterans whom I have interviewed for medical marijuana, they tell me, ‘Dr. Leveque, medical marijuana works better than any prescription I have been given.’”

He also wrote, in a December 2013 article, “Cannabis is a complete substitute for the body’s own endocannabinoid anandamide which is secreted by the body in stressful situations.”  Dr Leveque spent his life trying to help people understand the beneficial side of marijuana and he is one of many physicians who had their careers derailed or even ruined due to their association with cannabis.  Today of course both coastlines of the USA are green states and medical programs are found in almost half of the nation.

A High Times article titled “The Thin Green Line” describes Dr. Leveque’s unique qualifications to discuss medical cannabis, “Dr. Leveque is uniquely overqualified to speak on this subject: Not only was he a professor of pharmacology and a forensic toxicologist, he was also a concentration-camp liberator in World War II who suffered from PTSD himself and specialized in treating vets with the illness during his time as a practicing physician. This 86-year-old doctor (nicknamed “the most dangerous man in Oregon”) has become a passionate champion of veterans’ rights and was one of the principle petitioners for Oregon’s medical-marijuana law back in 1988.”

Dr Leveque isn’t around to shed light on cannabis any longer but it seems fair to believe that he knew what the heck he was talking about and that Jeff Sessions absolutely holds no such qualification.

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