During yesterday’s discussion of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) denounced the legalization of marijuana. Calling legalization “a disturbance” for the states that have reformed their antiquated marijuana laws, and claiming the plant is more dangerous than alcohol.
As this misguided observation is being offered up by the first sitting senator to endorse DJ Trump for POTUS –– we should definitely consider the source.
According to the online Congressional record, while most lawmakers were gathered to discuss the growing epidemic of prescription opioid use and the ravages of heroin addiction in the US – Sen. Sessions was more interested in casting aspersions on the Obama administration and their permissive stance on marijuana legalization.
“You have to have leadership from Washington. You can’t have the President of the United States of America talking about marijuana … you are sending a message to young people that there is no danger in this process. It is false that marijuana use doesn’t lead people to more drug use. It is already causing a disturbance in the States that have made it legal.”
If by “disturbance,” Sen. Sessions’ meant reduced DUIs, decreased crimes involving violence, and lower state prison populations – then he’s right. Marijuana legalization has definitely been disrupting the status quo.
Example: After passing and enacting Colorado’s Amendment 64, crime statistics from the City and County of Denver noted a substantial decline in their overall crime rate. Since marijuana legalization has become the new normal in Colorado, they’ve witnessed a 24.4% reduction in homicides, a 2.5% reduction in rape, and a 9.5% reduction in burglaries.
As to Trump’s first supporter and his claim that marijuana is worse than alcohol, during 2013 approximate 697,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 & 17 suffered from alcohol use disorder (AUD), and an additional 73,000 kids under the age of 18 were institutionalized for alcohol-related issues.