U.S. Marijuana Policy: AG Sessions vs Head of DHS

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“Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war.” ~ Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly

Good to know; now somebody please inform our Attorney General.

After last Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press interview where Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. John Kelly explained to Chuck Todd that marijuana is “not a factor in the drug war,” Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions provided his own dark interpretation of marijuana smuggling and the proliferation of international crime networks.

According to the Washington Times, Sessions explained that the Department of Justice would have “zero tolerance” for those groups notorious for smuggling illegal contraband across the US-Mexico border – like MS-13:

“We [did] have quite a bit of marijuana being imported by the cartels from Mexico. This is definitely a cartel-sponsored event.”

Overlooking the simple fact that marijuana’s illegal profitability is directly linked to its prohibited status; AG Sessions called out the smuggling of Mexican brick weed as “a financial moneymaker for them.”

I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border.

After Kelly was asked by Todd whether or not marijuana was a factor in the war on drugs, the Sec. of DHS underscored the real problem – opioids, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. “It’s a massive problem. 52,000 Americans dead. You can’t put a price on human misery. The cost to the United States is over $250 billion a year,” said Kelly. Bluntly adding one other piece of sage wisdom during his Meet The Press interview, Kelly told Todd that “the solution is not arresting a lot of users.”

Kind of a big deal, the Kelly/Sessions philosophical fracture is of monumental significance as the two diametrically opposed viewpoints have left more than a few hard-working Americans wondering…what exactly will the Trump Administration’s marijuana policy look like?

Jeff Sessions on pot:

Last month, Atty. Gen. Sessions delivered an ominous speech to Richmond, Virginia law enforcement officials. Light on substantive policy change and heavy on Reagan-era rhetoric, Sessions’ comments provide some much-needed insight on his opinion of legalized marijuana:

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.

Throwing down an interesting challenge in his testimony before Congress, Sessions dared America’s lawmakers to either modify our current federal marijuana laws or authorize greater enforcement by the feds on consumption and trafficking. Cognizant that legalizing marijuana decreases crime, increases tax revenue, decreases criminal justice expenditures, advances public health, increases traffic safety, and stimulates the economy – most view Sessions’ challenge to Congress as a worthy venture.

Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett

About Author

Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

12 Comments

      • Also I believe that fighting against the mexican brick weed is a good thing. If thats where he wants to focus his efforts that is fine so long as he leaves the states that have chosen to legalize alone. But here in illinois that mexican brick weed is the only thing you can find in the rural areas. It is gross and unhealthy. It is loaded with stems and seeds and it is RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. Whoever is selling that garbage should be ashamed. Keep that disgusting garbage out of our country.

  1. I think this is a positive stance from the Sec. and AG. At least the AG knows his place and is not trying to pass laws. Clearly, the AG is against legal use(totally fine by me, everyone is entitled to their opinion) BUT what if we were able to legalize nationally AND show how responsible users are… the statistics might change his views then.
    And let’s not get drawn to the words Mexican brick weed too much-there are Americans who grow shitty, chemical weed also… but as far as I know most Americans growing it are not as violent as the cartels.

  2. Congress is the only entity that can get weed off of schedule I. Sessions knows that and his challenge should be accepted…change the law or else. Why not? People are going to use cannabis…legal or not so we have to find a way to get Congress to get weed off of Schedule I. BUT….as Clinton found out…if you put it on Schedule II or below….the problem is worse bc now its subject to FDA testing and rules and will never be legal. So…it has to be taken off the schedule completely just like Alcohol and that is going to be a hard sell but not impossible. We all have to keep fighting for full legalization. Don’t give up!

  3. I agree with the AG. It is time for congress to grow a pair and make a difference. CHANGE the federal laws considering marijuana already. This is long past due. I’m like Monterey Bud, I’m 60 years old, a husband, a father of two, grandfather of one so far. I have smoked pot on and off since I was a teen. I drink maybe two beers a month, don’t smoke cigarettes or take any other drugs. I have been in the same career all my life and have never been in any legal problems. Pot can be part of a long healthy life.

    • Let’s hope this cornpone leprechaun doesn’t prevail. And that other politicians read the polls and acknowledge that the “Drug War” against weed is over. They lost.

      Many of us have been smoking for more than fifty years now, with few ill effects. But after eighty years of prohibition the government propagandists are still lying about this relatively harmless herb. Or if not lying outright, they whine that it “hasn’t been studied enough”.. after Eighty Years of availability in modern society.
      At the same time, alcohol, a much greater threat, is being marketed freely in our society.
      Ask any crowd in the USA to raise their hands if anyone of their family and friends has been damaged by alcohol. You’ll see a massive reaction.
      Ask the same group the same question about weed. You’ll get much, much, fewer responses.

      I rest my case.

  4. George Meredith MD on

    Ah, more on the phony war on drugs! American electronic media continues to publish in support of the central government’s phony war on drugs. Interestingly, contrary to the electronic media’s propaganda presentations, are the little people’s responses to to this hog wash, . Who gave government a license to practice medicine, anyway?

    If only the little people could be made to believe this drivel. Consider: fifty nine percent of the 2.4 million US prisoners are incarcerated because of drug related “crimes”

    Ninety five percent of the readers comments to the Virginian Pilot re: a recent piece on the (phony) war on drugs went like this:

    Failing attempts to regulate behavior drive up street prices, fund violence world-wide, and incarcerate tens of thousands of non-violent offenders while working to create and equip violent distributors. Check who funds the politicians who vote for longer sentences…a good bit of their money comes from the prison industries, the companies who build and operate prisons.

    The promotion of prison building as a job creator and the use of inmate labor are key elements of the prison industrial complex. The term often implies a network of actors who are motivated by making profits, rather than solely by punishing or rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates.

    Millions of dollars spent just locally, in paying police, dogs, lawyers, judges, and prisons, to put people in prison perhaps for life (!!), for buying and selling and smoking a plant that grows naturally in the earth

    Every time I read these kinds of stories in the Pilot, it just enrages me that our government spends millions of dollars of our tax money on basically violating the very citizens they are sworn to protect. The politicians and police who engage in this kind of activity are the ones who deserve life in prison.

    High prices create crime. Before 1923 you could go into any corner drug store and get heroin and cocaine over the counter without a prescription, manufactured by big phama. This article’s comments run 95% to end the war on drugs

    Over twenty years ago, the old Virginian Pilot brought down one wannabe president, cocaine addict Chuck Robb. And his goodtime, coke snorting, drug wholesaling pals. But that was then…

    Anyway, drugs will continue to be illegal, and the dog will continue chasing his tail, as long as it is profitable for lawyers and banks, and it keeps the court system and law enforcement entities employed. These stories of once in a while success by police departments are laughable.

    Of time, money and resources. The Government is full of total idiots
    Drug enforcement is nothing more than a treasure hunt in the guise of police protection. The thrill of an every bust now hinges on the seizure of personal property and assets

    The fact of the matter is that it’s very enforcement increases crime and supports an industry of jobs centered on incarceration of US citizens
    The ones that should spend the rest of their lives in prison are the ones who have thrust this phony war on drugs upon the American People.

    The horribly corrupt politicians (past and present): Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton, Oliver North, GHW Bush and Kathleen Sebelius.

    And the corrupt Judges who looked the other way: including Raymond Jackson, J Harvie Wilkinson, Paul Niemeyer, Monte Belot, GE Tidwell, Barry Bennington and a host of others.

    And all those corrupt, complaisant government lawyers, including Alan Bersin, Paul McNulty, Janet Reno, and hundreds of others..

    And the American drug kingpins: George Sorus, Don Tyson, Jackson Stevens, Steven Bresky and many others.

    George Meredith MD
    Virginia Beach

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