Jeff Sessions Grilled on Marijuana Policy at Congressional Hearing by Rep. Cohen

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday where he was grilled on a number of marijuana policy issues.

After first asking Sessions what the Department of Justice (DOJ) has done to mitigate voter suppression for America’s disenfranchised minorities, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) shifted his remaining five-minute opportunity to put Sessions on the proverbial “hot seat.”

To the delight of cannabis consumers across the country, Rep. Cohen asked Sessions to defend his infamous 2016 comment that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

“Is John Kasich a good person? George Pataki, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, George Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Judge Clarence Thomas — which of those are not good people?”

Sessions’ response to the question and list of political heavyweights who have been open about past marijuana use was less than direct.

“Let me tell you how that came about, Congressman. So the question was, ‘What do you do about drug use — the epidemic we’re seeing in the country — and how you reverse it?’ Part of that is a cultural thing. I explained how when I became United States Attorney in 1981 and the drugs were being used widely over a period years, it became unfashionable, unpopular … and it was seen as such that good people didn’t use marijuana. That was the context of that statement.”

A probing conversation, Rep. Cohen also asked Sessions for clarification on the DOJ’s proposed plan to crack down on marijuana.

Rep. Cohen: On marijuana, you said that you are basically doing the same as Holder and Lynch. I believe General Holder and General Lynch abided by congressional appropriations, which limited the Justice Department enforcing marijuana laws where states had passed laws on medical marijuana. Do you abide by congressional appropriations and limitations upon marijuana when they conflict with state laws?

Attorney General Sessions: I believe we are bound by that.

Rep. Cohen: Marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin, would you agree with that?

Attorney General Sessions: I think that’s correct.

Rep. Cohen: Well, thank you sir. I would hope that in your enforcement that you would look at the limitations you’ve got.

After the U.S. Representative for Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District got Sessions to testify under oath that marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin, Rep. Cohen made it abundantly clear — the DOJ would be better served by targeting dealers of crack cocaine, powder cocaine, methamphetamines, opioids, and heroin than spending its limited time and resources on marijuana.

In 2015, Rep. Cohen sent a letter to then-Attorney General Holder asking him to reschedule cannabis.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey

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.

10 Comments

  1. I sure hope things change and soon. But I think it should be subsidized for certain groups, including professional musicians and writers like myself. Some of its influence can be seen in a funny, intelligent book called “Life Seemed Good, But….”

    • Alfred P Newman on

      You think writers and artist should get free pot, what about vets with ptsd, kids with epilepsy or dying cancer patients. Really, you should come first! Why? You haven’t contributed anything toward society, or grow your own and then helped others!
      Why?

  2. As a 16 year old college freshman in 1970, I basically grew into adulthood with marijuana as a regular influence on my thinking and my weekend entertainment. I even remember telling a joke on the local radio station where I worked that if they ever legalized Marijuana, you probably wouldn’t be able to buy it on Sundays anymore.

    Well, this is my 64th year on planet Earth, and as soon as Ohio opens its first dispensaries in 2018, my bucket list is complete! Until then, thank goodness for grow houses!

  3. Sessions is a confused little ape. Nobody today really believes that marijuana is dangerous like heroin, without medicinal value, so why do they continue with the charade? Why is it still a Schedule I drug? Let’s compare livers, Jeffrey…..mine’s healthy and yours is likely destroyed by years of alcohol use. Then tell me how wonderful booze drinkers are and that pot smokers are not good people. Damn, you’re dense.

  4. Good for him, at least not all of our Congressmen are useless. It was great to see him hold that little weasels feet to the fire. Now just get the hell out of the way and maybe we as a nation can get threw this Trump nightmare with the help of cannabis.

  5. They all know MJ is harmless but it’s a very big tool in Drug/Law Enforcement and I believe that is the number #1 reason it has remained schedule 1. It’s the true meaning of “gateway” drug.

    “You know the reason I stopped you is because I smell a strong odor of Marijuana, I’m gonna need you to step out of the vehicle Ma’am…”

  6. This guy seems to blame the lack of enforcement of laws as the reason for heroin problems.
    Free heroin shots of non lethal doses reduces crime to pay for it and prevents any overdoses. This was the sheriff of Nottingham’s proposal that has proven true when applied.
    His defense of weed is righteous.
    Butt Kids use it. It has saved children with severe problems .

  7. Jeff Sessions is a little rat.. Like the little rats before him and those others who have suppressed the truth about Marijuana from the American Public for the last 50+ years. Time to rid Congress of these little prick assholes who simply talk the party line and show there stripes every time they open their mouth and speak about something they apparently know NOTHING about. Sessions needs a beat down.. and shown the door.

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