Jeff Sessions

In Private Letter, Jeff Sessions Asks Congress for Permission to Go After Medical Marijuana

Sessions uses a straw man to justify a war on medical pot.


Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

In a previously undisclosed letter sent last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked lawmakers not to renew a rider that blocks the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state-level medical marijuana laws.

"I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions," Sessions wrote, "particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime. The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives."

The letter—dated May 1, 2017, and addressed to Sens. Mitch McConnell and Charles Schumer and Reps. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi—was obtained by's Tom Angell. It specifically asks that Congress not renew the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014. Barack Obama's Justice Department challenged the amendment last year, and it lost in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That means if Sessions wants to go after medical marijuana, he'll need Congress to remove Rohrabacher-Farr from the next appropriations bill.

Congress should tell him to get lost. As the Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham writes, emerging evidence suggest that state-legal medical marijuana reduces the use of opioids. Meanwhile, the one example Sessions cites of traffickers taking advantage of state law actually undermines the idea that his department needs more power.

The case Sessions mentions in his letter involves a group of Colorado residents who allegedly grew pot off the books in order to sell it in states where marijuana is not yet legal. Several members of the alleged conspiracy were able to obtain licenses from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division. Yet they're accused of violating Colorado law, which prohibits the transportation of cannabis products across state lines. This is why Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate the group: Neither agency condones interstate marijuana trafficking.

Sessions seems to think that because several of the alleged conspirators were able to get pot licenses before they allegedly broke state law, the Justice Department needs a blank check to wreak havoc in medical marijuana states. That's one clumsy bait-and-switch.

It's also in keeping with Sessions' ratcheting-up of the federal war on everything. He's instructed federal prosecutors to seek the maximum penalty against non-violent, low level drug offenders; attempted to enlist local police for federal immigration enforcement, and is seeking to erode online privacy protections in the name of freeing modern slaves.

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  1. So he’ll leave recreational marijuana alone?

    1. You big silly!

  2. “That’s one clumsy bait-and-switch.”

    Well, that’s Jeff Sessions all over:…..ologize-to

  3. Jeff Sessions is a _____ piece of _____ who deserves a good _____ , while _____, until _____ .

    1. backwards – dogshit – ass ramming – being waterboarded with toilet water – his stomach ruptures

    2. cousinfucking, dumpster-fetus, grundlepunch, fucking his black maid, the South rises again

      1. The Marine part of my brain is impressed, Tony.

        1. I learned a new word.

      2. Best Tony post of all time.

    3. festering, carbucle, SugarFree biopic, reading Ken’s comments, Hillary becomes President

    4. giganctic, horse-shit, ass raping with a rusty chainsaw, being force-fed bleach, there’s nothing left his body to bury and his remains are burned and then shot into the center of the sun.

  4. Eliminating the DEA would fund a lot anything else you want. And greatly reduce the court backlog, saving even more money.

    1. We’ll get rid of the DEA the day we get rid of the NEA.

      1. Well, there goes my grant to build a junkie pyramid.

      2. add into the disappearing mix the EPA and I’m all in for dumping the three of them.

  5. I’m sure that will go over well.

  6. By god I looked it up and he STILL reminds me of Laugh In, both Arte Johnson and Henry Gibson.

    Creepy admixture.

  7. Since when has the AG felt he needed anyone’s permission to go after medical marijuana in states where it’s legal?

    1. Since Congress passed the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment which forbids the DOJ from spending any MONEY going after cannabis products/practices which are legal under laws of the State in which they occur.

      At this point, Rohrabacher-Farr is in effect until 9/30/17, since Trump signed the appropriations bill containing this language on 5-5-17.

      However, Trump added a ‘signing statement’ (which is totally meaningless, legally) which said: “Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

      Which of course means that he’s likely to tell Sessions to ignore the will of Congress, and go after cannabis anyway, going back on his campaign assertions that he is ‘100%’ behind medical cannabis, and that it should be “up to the states”.

  8. Blaming an AG for zealously enforcing laws he’s sworn to enforce is like blaming your neighbor’s dog for loudly barking all night.

    This problem can only be solved via Congress. Trump is a little pre-occupied to be ordering the delisting of marijuana.

    Rule of law and all that.

    1. I would not lose any sleep if I knew the rule of law wasn’t being followed in regards to immoral laws like slavery, Jim Crow laws, drug laws, civil asset forfeiture, etc.

    2. “Just following orders” didn’t fly at Nuremberg, homey. I mean, if you’re claiming that Sessions has the IQ and initiative of my neighbor’s idiot dog, that’s a little bit different, but it’s still not really an excuse.

    3. What about when those laws are unconstitutional and immoral? I think he swore to protect the constitution too. And as Citizen X says, there is a line beyond which “just doing my job” is not a valid excuse. I put the enforcement of drug laws over that line. The people enforcing drug laws are behaving exactly as morally as I would be if I snatched you up on the street and locked you in my basement for years just because I felt like it.

      1. if I snatched you up on the street and locked you in my basement for years just because I felt like it.

        Go on…

      2. You lost that fight about the time of the Whisky Rebellion.

        But, by all means continue to demand special treatment from whatever persons of power will deliver what you wish.

        So libertarian.

        1. I’m demanding nothing. I’m just stating my moral judgement. Do you disagree that there is a line beyond which “just doing my job” is no excuse for immoral behavior?

          Rule of law is only worth a shit when the laws are for the most part moral and just. Enforcing bad laws is not libertarian in the least. Rule of law and constitutionalism are not libertarian things. They can be good tools, given decent laws.

          1. “Moral” and “for the most part” are exactly the standard of people like Sessions and their positions can’t be refuted with alternate morals plucked from nowhere and some better fraction of justice.
            l’m no fan of law enforcement as applied in this country but likening it to the holocaust is counterproductive.

          2. The ‘rule of law’ is a myth and always has been.


            1. Thanks for sharing, that was an amazing read!

    4. And in the meantime, fuck anyone unlucky and/ or stupid to get caught up in the War on Drugs. Serve ’em right for not just following current law and waiting for pot to be legalized, amiright? /sarc, obviously

      1. Do we ever eliminate bad law by selectively obviating it?

        No, the proper response to bad law is to demand repeal. Not dance around the fringes.

        1. Do we ever eliminate bad law by selectively obviating it?

          Yes, we do. There are still laws against sodomy and cheating on your spouse on the books in lots of states. Even before the Supreme Court ruled the sodomy laws unconstitutional, they were rarely enforced. And that’s a good thing. Or do you think that all the state AGs who weren’t vigorously rooting out assfuckers were derelict in performing their duties? During prohibition, anti-alcohol laws often went unenforced against individuals and small time distributors. Some states pretty much refused to go along with it at all. Would it have been better if the federal government had created a large enough police force to enforce prohibition more fully?

          1. Er… however, the same Senator Wesley Livsey Jones who wrote the Jones Act (that an independent Puerto Rico could escape from) also pushed through the Jones Five and Ten Prohibition law a couple of days before Herbert Hoover, the Great Dry Hope, was sworn in as president to use guns, asset-forfeiture and tax liens to enforce it. Basically a mandatory minimums act, that particular Jones Law made a five-year hard-time felony out of light beer and stronger fare, and imposed a $5000 gold-dollar fine. That equalled 242 ounces of gold–which today would cost you right at $297,000. The economic results of such coercion led to the series of crashes (beginning in March 1929) that warned of the resulting Great Depression. The case for repeal was to secure economic recovery. The same reaction would have been intelligent in 2007, but alas… the IRS has subsidized political party campaigns since 1971.

        2. And if you can’t get a law repealed, then what? You are just supposed to sit there and congratulate the AG for doing such a fine job while people are being brutalized and punished for doing things that harm no one?

        3. Sure, plenty of times.

          And several states have repealed it. But I guess that was all for naught until the federal congress repeals it. Until then, Sessions is squeaky clean!

        4. Thomas you semi-retarded faux-authoritarianism plays better at the Federalist and elsewhere Contards hang out.

  9. What a dick

  10. Fuck you Sessions. Man, this guy really is the worst.

    1. That Pussy Grabbing Republican President Pud is the Worst-Worst for choosing Sessions as a running mate!

  11. Christ, what an asshole.

    I hope Jeff Sessions gets Lou Gehrig’s disease and stage 4 colon cancer at the same time.

    1. At least he’s done on congress once his AG gig is up.

    2. And then he overdoses on marijuana. On TV, please.

      1. uhhh – no such thing as a toxic overdose of marijuana.
        Not one clinical case of such a death.

    3. Well, they incarcerate the mentally handicapped and children, so why not go for broke and get the cancer victims who want relief from chemo?

      The Constitution is Sessions’s rolling paper.

  12. Too bad that Congress won’t just show the courage to legalize it at the federal level. Better to complain that the executive branch is enforcing the (shitty) law and demand that they selectively enforce this law.

    Lots of Dems are upset abut things like this but would blow a gasket if the DOJ & ATF deferred entirely to state law for locally produced firearms.

    1. It is already the case that the ATF defers to State and local laws regarding the prohibition of some types of weapons. Try getting an ‘open carry’ license in NYC, or College Park Maryland.
      Good luck with that.

  13. There is a thing called Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. How’s this legalization thing working out vis a vis a smaller government?

    1. Probably a wash, I’d say. But I think that collecting taxes and enforcing business regulations is slightly less evil than locking people up for the non-crimes of drug possession or production.

      1. snark. It’s probably too much to ask that the government do less harm and reduce their footprint.

      2. I bet they have a SWAT team.

        1. With an MRAP, or a M-1 tank.

    2. How can you have a free market in something if it’s not enforced?

      1. There is no such thing as a ‘free market’ in any geotemporal coordinate wherein government also exists. Never happened, won’t ever happen, can’t happen.

        In a ‘free market’, selling fools bread made of 85% sawdust would be perfectly legal – if there’s any constraint on ‘fraud’, then the market clearly isn’t ‘free’.

        If you think there’s a ‘free market’ anywhere here in the US, try hanging up a shingle and selling legal consulting services without belonging to the proper ‘guild’ (Bar Association). You will find yourself in a world of hurt.

        Hell’s bells, in some places, you can be fined for trading a haircut for a dinner, if you don’t have the proper permission from the State to sell your hair-cutting services.


    3. How’s this legalization thing working out vis a vis a smaller government?

      How’s that criminalization thing been working out for almost everyone else?

      1. Not much different.

        But another startling trend [in Colorado] also has developed: Arrest rates have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos.

        A Colorado Health Department survey found there wasn’t a huge racial difference in who smokes pot. But the marijuana arrest rate for white 10- to 17-year-olds fell by nearly 10 percent from 2012 to 2014, while arrest rates for Latino and black youths respectively rose more than 20 percent and more than 50 percent.

        That was evident that morning at the courthouse, where about a dozen cases were heard before noon. Only one involved a white kid.

        Brian Vicente, who led the marijuana legalization movement in Colorado, says that discrepancy needs to stop.

        The state doesn’t let go easily.

  14. The worst part about Jeff Sessions is that he seems to be competent, one of the most competent picks in Trump’s cabinet. Thos guy knows how to cause as much damage as humanly possible

    1. He’s an old geezer who’s worked in government in one capacity or another for over 30 years. He’s had a lot of practice at doing damage.

    2. Sessions is a lifelong lawyer/politician. He knows the precise height, width and length of the shaft facing him.

    3. He needs to direct his efforts in putting communists in prison. Not drug users.

      1. 1953 called, it wants its raison d’ wet pants back.

        1. So you don’t think the DNC are a bunch of communists? That’s all progressives really are, global marxists. Try comparing their party platform to the US Communist Party. Pretty much the same.

          Given the criminal activities of people like the Clintons, Obama, Holder, Lynch, Lerner, etc., not counting all the crooked shit congressional democrats are into, and Sessioms really has his work cut out for him.

          1. Back to The Federalist, Nut-Con

            1. So NONE of those people are legitimately guilty of any crimes? Maybe YOU should go back to Slate, or HuffPo.

  15. Don’t understand why they can’t let this go, seems to be working, nobody has died. What’s the beef?

    1. You’re so high right now dude.

    2. Where’s the beef?

  16. Reason Staff – I would ask you to consider changing “marijuana” to “cannabis” moving forward. A growing number of people consider “marijuana” to be the term left over from prohibitionists, intended to aid in the demonization of the plant.

    Many even consider “the m-word” to be racist. I don’t know about that, but I feel that “cannabis” is more acurate and professional. Just for consideration – regardless, I enjoy your varied views.

    1. yes yes. Excellent point.
      ‘Marihuana’ was the term that the asshole fascist Harry Ainslinger decided to use in the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act for two primary reasons:

      First was to hide the fact that they were prohibiting cannabis, which was a well-known and fairly widely-used medicinal herb at the time, and the government was having enough troubles with those finicky doctors and their AMA violating the Sherman anti-trust act and so forth. The AMA testified AGAINST the MTA during the brief August hearing (this is pre-AC Washington, remember, so it was hot as a sauna!), but during the floor vote, someone asked, and was lied to and told that the AMA supported it.

      Secondly, the use of the Mexican slang word for cannabis was part and parcel of the REAL reason cannabis was prohibited in the first place – as a reaction to THEM Mexicans – ‘dey took r jobs’. It was pure racism and xenophobia.

      (if anyone hasn’t read The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States by Charles Whitebread, you really should – great stuff there.…..hiteb1.htm )


  17. Does anyone else feel like Jeff Sessions looks like Smeagol?

  18. Sessions is such a motherfucker. Delusional to the core.

  19. Sessions’ request is reprehensible.

    Why? Why make criminals of these people?

    1. But will congress vote for this? In WA, one of the most conservative state legislators has been fighting to pass legislation that will protect medical marijuana patient rights. Battling against the evil progressive Jay Inslee, who is trying to marginalized them.

      1. “In WA, one of the most conservative state legislators”…

        LOL! Good one elias…

        1. It is. The legislator in question is named Matt Shea. I know him. He’s very conservative, but has a deep respect for the bill of rights. Look him up.

          1. Sell it at the Federalist, Nut-Con.

            1. Hello troll.

    2. Its hard to disagree with your sentiments…

  20. “Congress should tell [Sessions] to get lost.” Agreed and I I hope Mike Riggs meant that literally. Right now I can’t think of anything more fun than Jeff Sessions wandering the hills of north-east Alabama, not being able to find a road, a stream, ANYTHING.

  21. I loathe this guy, but my god our congressmen grilling him today make me want to defend him.

    Rep King literally just asked sessions if he knew about a justice dept. memo outlining Russia’s hacking attempts from AFTER the election on OCTOBER 8TH. How fucking dumb is king? Our elections are in November slick.

    Sessions replied “i think youd have been upset mr. King if I was asking for info into an investigation of our campaign during the campaign”. King simply replied “no, this was after the campaign on Oct 8th.”

    Soooooooo dumb. So dumb.


  23. I like Mr. Sessions and believe him to be a very honest man but he is stuck in the past when it comes to Cannabis. Americans do not want the government to attack the legal and even illegal possession of this substance. Go after the hard drugs if you must be why fill up the jails with people that cause no problems to society.

    1. Sessions is awful in every regard, and wants government to be a paternal figure to its citizens, which flies in the face of the Constitution and values of individual liberty and the Enlightenment altogether.

  24. After reading all the rude comment on this board I am wondering where all the decent Libertarians have gone. Seems most that are left are just as loonie as the left now.

    1. They’ve immigrated. Check out

      1. Are you kidding? That’s where all the assholes went. In 10 years of reading comments here it’s never been more civil.

        1. If what you want is civility wtf are you doing in an anonymous comments section?

          1. He’s some leftard that’s been trolling me.

  25. Sessions is probably a witness in an obstruction of justice criminal investigation but today he was a witness in a Senate committee. You will have noticed the way he avoided answering questions. If he’s a witness in a criminal investigation that type of obstruction by denying to answer would itself possibly qualify as a criminal offense. Sessions has signaled a willingness to refuse to cooperate with the special counsel so we should expect to see the issue of his refusal to answer decided by the Supreme Court. I believe Sessions is hiding something, it’s obvious he communicated with Trump extensively and you can only imagine the corruption Trump ran my Sessions in these interactions considering the moves Trump put on Comey in such a short time. Sessions has so much to tell. I don’t trust Sessions to tell the truth but hopefully they catch him in a lie.

    1. Of course he’s communicated with Trump, you half-wit, he’s Trump’s AG.
      And what corruption?

      1. Communicated? He may even have talked with him.

    2. Ahhh, a butt hurt snowflake and his fairy tales…

      BTW did you know that Comey & Mueller have a history and it seems like they’re a couple of liberal grifters who went into law enforcement for self aggrandizement…

  26. Sessions sees the federal government as a paternal figure that needs to regulate our lives and trounce on state autonomy. His view of the role of government is horribly at odds with the Constitution. Paine, Jefferson and Smith warned us about people like Sessions.

  27. Too bad the Left won’t join with their “enemies” when it comes to policy that both sides agree on.. The Left is stuck in a bubble of hate.. Anyone that disagrees with one iota of what they claim to be for or against is ostracized and ignored.. They are being led by the nose, and it functions to keep people so divided that they will never be able to effect change in the system.. It’s really sad that they play along as good puppets, at the expense of regular people, and for the advancement of authoritarians and centralized totalitarianism.. A real shame..

    1. Then explain to them that by adopting the Econazi Watermelon planks they rob and jail themselves. If the Dems had copied the Libertarian repeal plank instead of trying to ban electricity, THEIR delicate hands would be dipping into the till and endorsing the backs of those government sinecure paychecks! Stealing the wrong spoiler votes plank is like backing the wrong horse. Any way you look at it, you lose.

  28. I think one should be careful for what one wishes for…

    medical pot = oxymoron? (

    Legal Weed Blamed For Transforming Colorado Town Into Panhandler Haven (

    1. We had the same problem in Haight-Ashbury, caused by an influx of youthful refugees from tee-totalitarian enklaves of Sharia law prohibitionism in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, Ohio, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Georgia–everywhere the Methodist White Terror had entrenched itself in 1932. Parallel situations obtain today in the flight from papist prohibitionism and gangland rule below the border with Mexico, and the desperate hordes streaming into Southern Europe to escape similar religious fanaticism all over Africa. To non-fanatics, even relative freedom is attractive and coercion–especially with its attendant economic failures–is repellent.

      1. And there you go again. For the two hundredth time, babbling about 1932.

  29. Sessions is such as asshole he makes me cheer for the other assholes on the Senate ”Intelligence” Committee who are working so diligently to bring down the Trump administration.

  30. I am a 71 year old woman who was able to switch from opiods to medical marijuanna and it changed my life. Gone is the constant pain as well as all the horrendous side effects of opiods- constipation, headaches, tremors etc. It is acknowledged that when Seniors switch from opiods, the risk of overdoses decreases as well as the cost to Medicare to provide the opiods and the various drugs to counteract their side effects. There is no reason to seek to prosecute medical marijuanna users unless Mr. Sessions is either an idiot or beholden to the drug companies. It is hardly likely that the country will be over-run with seniors smoking pot but it is documented that seniors on opiods are more likely to overdose.

    1. I’m pretty sure he honestly believes every bit of ‘Reefer Madness’ hook, line and sinker.

  31. The incredible audacity to oppose 94 percent of the American people! – This can only mean their goal is to make the U.S. a totalitarian regime! – This is a searing indictment of the Republican party who should be using their majority to remove this wanna-be fascist gaggle!

  32. This rewriting of Nuremberg Laws to coerce hippy thoughtcrime on behalf of entrenched alcohol, glucose, sugar, yeast, coffee and pharma lobbies was forseeable. Prohibitionist tee-totalitarianism became so entrenched after the Klan in 1928 defected to the Republican side that even the 1931 Liberal Party repeal plank was watered down when copied into the Democratic platform. Though it still resulted in five consecutive victories for the Dems, the 21st Amendment merely transferred robbery and looting through the violence of sumptuary law to State governments no less corrupt and venal than the Feds. The Atlas Shrugged Amendment proposed in 1957, essentially–And Congress shall pass no laws restricting or abridging the freedom of production and trade–would serve to right wrongs persisting in the 21st Amendment and block the coercion the Kleptocracy has with dirty needles injected into the body politic.

  33. The let’s self satisfied (and defeating) squealing about owning the future makes not want to say things like this, but at least he’s gonna die soon [of old age. geez].

  34. as the last living cast member of Reefer Madness, Sessions feels the need to carry the flag…

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  36. What this guy does not comprehend, or refuses to accept, is that as legal use of SOME things becomes more common, the criminal attachment to the hard drugs fades away. They are ONLY available through the illegal and sinister black market, involving heavy violence, weapons, no value for life. As marijuana comes into a number of states legally, traffic in the harder stuff diminishes and along with it If Sessions truly wants to reduce the violence and mayhem associated with the illegal hard stuff trade, he’d be in favour of legalising marijuana. It would also greatly reduce the incidence of folks tossed into prison for years for having the tail end of a joint found (or planted by the cop) in his pocket when stopped for a taillamp not working. The public expense of feeding that court/lawyer/cop/warehousing operation, not to mention the lost opportunity cost of the productivity of the imprisoned, is huge….

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