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When It Comes to Pot, Pain, and Cancer, Jeff Sessions Is An Idiot

Our top federal law enforcement officer has no idea what real pain is really like—or what doctors do to manage it.

SAIT SERKAN GURBUZ/REUTERS/NewscomSAIT SERKAN GURBUZ/REUTERS/NewscomI am a stage-four cancer survivor. No, that's wrong. I'm not a survivor. I beat cancer's ass into the ground, dusted myself off, and proceeded on with life. I don't consider myself, or the millions of other people who deal with life-threatening or chronic conditions, a victim. We are not. But surely, patients have enough to manage already without the idiocy rattling through Attorney General Jeff Sessions' teeth every time he opines on opioids, cannabis, and pain management.

That's right, I said it. Someone had to. Jeff Sessions is an idiot. The problem is plain for anyone who has had an experience like mine to see: Our top federal law enforcement officer has no idea what real pain is really like, or what doctors do to manage it.

Sessions recently told the surely apocryphal story about current White House Chief of Staff, and former four-star general, John Kelly refusing pain killers during hand surgery. I have no doubt that the general is one bad ass individual. But really? Did he wash the wound with tequila before the first incision, while grinding his teeth on a stick?

Watch Sessions tell the story here. It is itself quite painful. It's like your crazy great uncle's circa-1950s-liquor-fueled rants you are subjected to once every year at Thanksgiving dinner. The difference is that your crazy great uncle is kind of endearing when he's drunk, and his opinions are harmless. This crazy uncle is the Attorney General of the United States, and he has all the power to act on his feelings, and he clearly intends to do so.

"The plain fact, I believe, and I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids," Sessions told a gathering in Tampa a few weeks ago. "I mean, people need to take some, uh, aspirin sometimes, and tough it out a little."

"Believe." "Assumption." "Too many." Forget the fact he doesn't have the slightest notion of the difference between acute pain, like when a surgical scalpel cuts into your flesh, and chronic pain, that can last indefinitely. And I wonder what exactly "Dr." Sessions means by too many? Which patients, with what conditions, under what circumstances will be determined by the federal government to be deserving of pain relief? And who, exactly, is just going to have to "tough it out a little bit?"

The Attorney General probably doesn't have any specific patient in mind. He doesn't exactly appear to be focused on individual patients. He just wants to make sure that fewer patients are prescribed opioids to manage their pain—and he is weaponizing the federal government in order to accomplish this goal.

The Associate Press reported last month that, according to Sessions, "the Drug Enforcement Agency is now asking medical practitioners whether they have received continuing medical education on prescribing or dispensing opioids when they apply for a license or renew."

Sessions is forcing doctors to make an ugly choice: Either do best by their patients and adhere to their Hippocratic Oath—or suffer the bureaucratic harassment from the powerful Drug Enforcement Agency, and risk the loss of their license to practice medicine. If incentives matter, and they do, expect doctors to start making bad choices for their patients.

I remember a time, not too long ago, when Republicans and conservatives proclaimed loudly and often that health care choices should be between patients and doctors, and the federal government should keep its nose out. But those well-worn talking points have been shelved, replaced with a new form of medical authoritarianism.

For me, it's personal. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. I have been injected with aggressive chemotherapy cocktails that leave you feeling like you have the worst hangover ever, except that it goes on for months. And there's extensive nerve damage. If you are a masochist, you can read more gory details here.

I have undergone multiple surgeries that sliced me open from stem to stern, each time leaving dozens of surgical staples in my belly, making my torso look like I big zipper. Years later, I still deal with collateral damage from the battle, including scar tissue in my abdomen that can generate significant pain. With all due respect to tough guy John Kelly, I doubt he has felt real pain, the kind that makes you wish you were dead, until scar tissue from past surgeries manages to strangle your intestines closed.

And, yes, it irritates me to retell these stories. I'm not nearly old enough yet to be spending my waning days on the porch, telling my octogenarian friends about all the parts of my body that are broken. I was hoping to save the good stuff for when my wife finally sends me away to a geezer farm in the country.

Of course opioid addiction is a real problem, and opioid abuse is indeed dangerous. I have friends who have told their stories about managing pain, and addiction. They all sought other forms of treatment, settling on medical cannabis as a safer, more effective treatment for debilitating pain, and other chronic conditions.

I can recount countless stories of patients using cannabis to get off of opioids. But here comes the idiocy again. Jeff Sessions has said that "good people don't smoke marijuana," and that he believes that cannabis is the gateway drug that leads to opioid abuse. "We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana," he says at that same piece of performance art in Tampa. The research, of course, says the opposite.

So with traditional pharmaceuticals and cannabis off the table, I guess I really will have to "tough it out a bit."

When I sat down to write this piece, I debated using the word idiot. It's intemperate, you might say. So I Googled it. "Idiot: A stupid person. Synonyms: fool, jackass, knucklehead, numbskull, nitwit, asshat." It might as well have just said "Jeff Sessions."

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  • Presskh||

    Agree. Sessions is an idiot on a whole lot more than pot, which most people don't really care about anyway. He chooses to have his people go after pot smokers because it's much easier than his having to go after the Obama/Clinton criminal cabal. Sessions' appointment to this important position has been Trump's biggest mistake, by far.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "has been Trump's biggest mistake, by far"

    I agree but I think lately he's been trying to change that by attempting to make bigger mistakes.

  • Wizard4169||

    Everything Trump does is the biggest and best. (If you don't believe me, just ask him.) So when he screws up, it's the biggest screwup you've ever seen. And the only thing bigger and better than Trump's last screwup is Trump's next screwup.

  • Tony||

    FOX News replaces brain tissue with jello.

  • Johnimo||

    We're so sorry for you. Stop watching immediately.

  • croaker||

    "Sessions' appointment to this important position has been Trump's biggest mistake, by far."

    Trump: Hold my beer.

  • DajjaI||

    Of course opioid addicition is a real problem

    Well exactly, and it's killing thousands of kids every year. Doctors need to cut back on overly generous prescriptions. Sessions is exactly right. Legitimate pain patients can still get the opiates they want for the limited time that they need it, while reducing the risk of more kids getting addicted and dying. Addiction is a horrible disease too, and we need to think about the victims for a minute.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Dajjal,

    Well exactly, and it's killing thousands of kids every year.


    The children! Who thinks of the children?

    Doctors need to cut back on overly generous prescriptions.


    Medical doctors study hard for several years plus intern for some more years yet they should heed your sage advise.

  • DajjaI||

    Fortunately sage doctors are starting to heed my advice. Because they know not to give in to the ignorance of the people who don't care about the children.

  • ||

    No, they just don't want to go to prison for doing their jobs so they just acquiesce. And before you invoke some type of expertise, I practice anesthesia.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Thanks, Dajjal. I'd been wondering who the old man on the mountain really was, and now I know.

    And just so my POV is clear: I doubt any doctors, sage or otherwise, are heeding your advice. For which we can all be eternally grateful.

  • Robert||

    And yet, widespread opinion among health care practitioners in the USA now is that, indeed, the pendulum swung too far a few years ago in liberalizing use of narcotics, resulting in there being an excess of them in circul'n, beyond the needs of pts. It's not just politicians saying this. The "left" blames pharma firms, the "right" says stuff like Sessions, but there seems to be widespread agreement on the result's being people taking narcotics who don't need them, or don't need as much of them as they're taking, & hurting their health in the process. For just about everyone who's not a radical libertarian, this is seen as a public policy problem.

    So the current climate is not one in which there's much traction for getting liberaliz'n on the basis of pain's being under-treated. The tide may be able to flow back in that direction in a few yrs., but not now. For now the only hope is to convince more people of the radical libertarian idea that people should be allowed to harm themselves (socially or medically) if they want to, which is such a fundamental idea that it's very hard to make progress on; or to promote cannabis as a non-"addictive" help for many cases, but the tide on liberaliz'n of pot is already running so strongly that way that it would be hard to accelerate it.

  • JFree||

    the only hope is to convince more people of the radical libertarian idea that people should be allowed to harm themselves (socially or medically) if they want to, which is such a fundamental idea that it's very hard to make progress on;

    Like so many purely ideological stances, the real difficulty is not whether people should be allowed to harm themselves but whether they even KNOW they are harming themselves. Even the issue of assisted suicide or euthanasia hangs up on the details of whether the person knowingly went down that path.

    The second one admits that yes there needs to some independent verification that the knowledge of harm existed; then one heads down the path of a potential bureaucracy.

    The second one denies that any such verification need happen, then one head downs the path of no possible accountability.

    There is zero possibility that the idea itself can resolve that problem internally. Reason cannot solve every problem.

  • Rod Flash||

    "it's killing thousands of kids every year"

    Got any citations for that? I looked around a bit and couldn't find anything to back up your assertion. And personally, I think trying to end the war on drugs IS thinking about the victims. It's a lot easier to deal with their problems when they aren't in prison. Sessions "solution" would only make things worse.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Legit prescriptions certainly aren't killing kids in any number. Improper recreational use by minors is problematic, however I seee no reason that should prevent my doctor from prescribing what I need as an adult for a number of legitimate medical issues.

  • skeptikal||

    Agreed.

  • commentguy||

    I think Dajjal is working on the basis that everyone is someone's kid.

  • cheeflo||

    Maybe he means in loco parentis government, like most liberal progressives -- we're all just children, right?

  • cheeflo||

    Maybe he means in loco parentis government, like most liberal progressives -- we're all just children, right?

  • JFree||

    Well here's Overdose Death Data

    I don't actually know what point dajjal was trying to make - but 64,000 deaths per year and close to 2 million ER visits caused by drug reactions is a pretty fucking serious problem. Especially since those numbers are up 300% over the last 15 years.

  • RPGuy16||

    In a country of 300+ million people it's actually not that serious of a problem.

  • JFree||

    it's actually not that serious of a problem.

    Only if those deaths are occurring in 80 year olds who would be dying soon of something else anyway. But they're not occurring in that age group. In the age groups where those deaths are occurring, they are the leading cause of death (by 2-3x) at every age from 18 - 45 or so. It is the SOLE reason life expectancy is now dropping in the US - because each death takes about 30x more 'expectancy' than an elder's death.

    If those deaths were occurring in a single decadal age cohort (eg 15-24 or 25-34 or 35-44), those deaths would be more than all other causes of death COMBINED.

    If you want to assert that this is merely a form of conscious suicide as an act of freedom, then the corollary is that suicide has nearly tripled over the last two decades. As a 'libertarian measure of happiness as enabled by freedom', that is a symptom of a VERY unhappy and dysfunctional and soon-to-be-dead society. Do you really want to sell that vision of freedom?

    If those deaths were instead caused by war, that would be a Vietnam and a half EVERY YEAR.

  • billdeserthills||

    I agree and since guns kill only half that amount each year, the gun issue is even smaller

  • cheeflo||

    There is a compelling argument that Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare has contributed significantly to the increase in those numbers.

    https://tinyurl.com/ybag8fed

    https://tinyurl.com/ycoaqu5c

  • JFree||

    Except for the uncomfortable reality that the dates are wrong. The numbers started rising in the late 90's (almost totally 'coincidental' with the combo of the new classes of patented opioids and their advertising on TV). The prescription numbers actually flattened off in 2011. The increase since then has been 'alternatives' - and everyone who knows the issue knows that the individuals involved were hooked on the prescriptions, then 'cut off', then searched for 'alternative from there - and then OD'd on that alternative.

    Maybe it is pain - maybe it is addiction. But in FACT, it sure as fuck ain't R politics.

  • Ladyhawk||

    JFree : no actually, when you consider that there are over 300 million prescriptions every year, the number of people doing stupid things with those drugs is less than 0.05% of those who take the drug. The overwhelming majority take the drugs properly. Yet you would force them to endure pain needlessly so you can feel like a righteous drug warrior.

  • JFree||

    I'm not making a comment about pain prescriptions. But i sure as fuck am saying I shouldn't be the one paying for either your pain or your abuse of the prescription that sends you to the ER. And that is exactly what is happening now.

    Fuck off slaver

  • Ladyhawk||

    "64,000 deaths per year and close to 2 million ER visits caused by drug reactions is a pretty fucking serious problem. Especially since those numbers are up 300% over the last 15 years." JFree : no actually, when you consider that there are over 300 million prescriptions every year, the number of people doing stupid things with those drugs is less than 0.05% of those who take the drug. The overwhelming majority take the drugs properly. Yet you would force them to endure pain needlessly so you can feel like a righteous drug warrior.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And what, if anything, does that have to do with acute or chronic (like me) pain patients who get out opioids through our doctors on carefully monitored prescription dosages and schedules? I'll save you the trouble: absolutely nothing.

  • JFree||

    I agree and it should be obvious that my comment was specifically directed to deaths and ER visits. What I fail to understand is why commenters are oblivious to the trends here:

    ER admissions for illicit drugs (relatively stable) - 2005 - 922k; 2011 - 1.2mm
    ER admissions for prescription abuse (100% increase) - 2005 - 765k; 2011 - 1.5mm
    ER admissions for adverse pharma reaction (100% increase) - 2005 - 1.25mm; 2011 - 2.3mm

    The average cost for those successfully treated in the ER (roughly half the above) was $3,600. For the other half (requiring admission to ICU or general hospital) the average cost was $30,000.

    This is a problem created BY our medical system (those second two categories are both preceded by patient visiting doctor and getting a prescription) - and the costs are being transferred to the healthy population. Unless you can point out some actual reason why the incidence of 'pain' itself doubled in the American population in 6 years, then the only conclusion is that the TREATMENT of it changed - uniquely in the US (85% of global opioid prescriptions are issued in the US - 5% in other developed countries, 10% in restofworld) - and healthy Americans are paying for it.

    Economically, this is cronyism.

  • Verbum Vincet||

    "Dajjal" - The False Messiah, The Deceiver, The Antichrist. Har har, har har! Every American is a goddamned victim, and every American is a sumbitchin' oppressor. A country a-plumb flushed with sizzlin' pussies, if you ask me! Piss on the goddamn "children!"

  • IceTrey||

    No streat drugs laced with fentanyl are killing kids.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well done, Daj. You actually tricked them for once.

  • villie||

    "it's killing thousands of kids every year."

    Can you point me to a link on what percentage of kids that could steal opiods from a family member actually do that?

    Man has evolved over the millennia to cope with the technology of say 1940. Since 1940, natural selection obviously has not had enough generations to remove from the gene pool those that will steal opiods from family .

    But in 100 years we might see a start in the number who defy logic and consume feel good poison.

    Restricting opiods needed by severe pain patients will delay cleansing of the gene pool.

  • skeptikal||

    Have you never heard of chronic pain? Some pain is not limited. Post surgical, yeah, that is limited. The pain from a mangled back? That's permanent. If these people are to function they need opiodes. If you take my friends pain meds away she goes from a working contributing member of society to bedridden.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Personal testimony: I got run down by a horse in February 2008 and have not had a pain-free day since. That said, I like others I know make a consistent effort to minimize my use on a daily basis, though that proved unhelpful when the doctor asked me if I didn't need the prescription amount. Yes, I did. And it made it much easier to push myself through hard days without the drug knowing that I had them to fall back on when needed.

    Even so, I continue to received opioids and I use medical marijuana and CBD. It's a constant juggling act, and nobody can really help because it is indeed a completely personal process. I don't mind government trying to address broader social ills though I tend to wish the pols would quit trying so hard. In the meantime, keep your stupid prejudices and laws off my body.

    And BTW, I'm a conservative Christian. I have many friends in the church in the same position I am. So please try not to paint this in ideological colors.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    And apparently are still tricking them...

  • John C. Randolph||

    Addiction is a horrible disease too, and we need to think about the victims for a minute.

    That's what they did in Portugal, which is the proof that Sessions' brain-dead, hamfisted, power-grubbing policy is a losing strategy for helping people in need.

    -jcr

  • Presskh||

    Dajjal, while I agree there is a problem, why is the Justice Department handling opioid addiction? Doesn't this first fall under the purview of the FDA?

  • AlmightyJB||

    We should put the FDA in charge of the WOD and then eliminate the FDA.

  • Augustine||

    The idea that you might restrict the meds of a chronic pain sufferer because said meds might fall into the hands of children sounds like rather like heartless Republican talking point. Yes, the docs need to be encouraged to not prescribe opioids to people who don't need them, but the choice should be between the doctor and the patient.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    getting an opiate script today is nearly impossible for most people unless they have cancer or some obvious severe and provable injury. That being said, doctors should not be in charge of what I put in my body. My body my choice--government keep your hands off my intestines! am I right?

    The fact is however, many doctors make a huge amount of money based on the fact a person needs a permission slip to buy certain medications. One thing I don't think people realize is just how much doctors salaries are in fact based on this type of rent seeking.

    If people did not need permission slips, combined the reality that many and perhaps most decisions doctors make on a regular basis can be approximated and simulated with a flow chart, hot links and the internet, I believe many doctors would suddenly see their earnings fall off a steep cliff.

  • cheeflo||

    What of those chronic conditions that don't last for a " limited time," but continue to torment until you're dead? Rheumatoid arthritis is an chronic condition, often invisible to the casual observer, that cannot be cured and involves serious and ongoing pain. With the constraints on prescribing and dispensing, the logistics of getting needed pain relief in a timely manner can involve significant exertion -- trips to the doctor and pharmacy, again and again and again.

    RA patients, among others, can benefit from opiates without becoming junkies. It is not in their best interests to turn their meds into a liability by abusing them -- maintaining effectiveness by taking them as directed, is.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Fact is, most everyone I know who copes with chronic pain would ditch opioids in a hot minute if they could. The shit is poison and we all know it.

    And the other fact is, medical marijuana is a mixed bag when it comes to effectiveness. Do I prefer it? Yes. Does it always do the job? No. But then again, neither do the opioids.

    Does all this mean that opioids and medical marijuana are a "gateway" to heroin? No. It just means there ain't no 10 and we who suffer learn that lesson every day.

  • Ladyhawk||

    Daijjal Yours is exactly the sort of attitude presented by people who have never experienced severe unrelenting chronic pain and the manner in which it destroys any possibility of a productive life. Opioids have rescued far more pain patients than the number of victims of addiction, a population that mostly consists of pain patients who were not competently monitored and managed during and after their pain was relieved, and who in desperation go to the streets for relief and wind up addicted to heroin. There far far more humane ways to deal with this opioid mess than by criminalizing even the good doctors and forcing pain patients to live a life of daily torture. Goody-goodies like you are more interested in sounding morally superior than in actually solving a complicated and nuanced and government-initiated mess.

  • TheDoDahMan||

    Right on, Daddy-o!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Our top federal law enforcement officer has no idea what real pain is really like, or what doctors do to manage it.

    I've always considered this a simple matter of the bubble some top men exist in. They have no personally experienced chronic pain and suffering so they can't imagine its impact on an existence. But who doesn't have a family member or know someone who's suffered in that manner? Who needed relief? Surely Sessions does. He just doesn't care. He's not an idiot. He's an asshole.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Did you skip this line?: Sessions recently told the surely apocryphal story about current White House Chief of Staff, and former four-star general, John Kelly refusing pain killers during hand surgery.

    Clearly anyone who needs pain medication is a pussy.

  • AlmightyJB||

    You were put in pain for a reason. We're not letting you escape God's punishment that easily. Stop sinning and God will stop punishing you unless he feels like testing you or makes some sadistic deal with Satan regarding your faith or is feeling bored or something.

  • Mauser||

    " He's an asshole " Yup, you hit the nail on the head. Some people are just plain up assholes & top authoritarian law enforcement positions as the one he holds are prone to attracting these turds.

  • Wizard4169||

    He's an asshole idiot. He's so wrapped up in himself that even if he did see someone else struggling with severe chronic pain, he'd still be convinced that he could power through it without any devilish dope. Some people honestly cannot see outside themselves. This personality type is fortunately rare, but sadly over-represented in politics.

  • Vernon Depner||

    And that's why Trump likes him. Kindred spirits.

  • Verbum Vincet||

    This personality type is fortunately rare, but sadly over-represented in politics.

    At least you got the second part right!

  • Augustine||

    Yup! I'm surprised he didn't say that they only needed to pray to Jesus more and the pain would be taken away.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    You are disgusting. I am a practicing, church-going Christian. And I know our Lord is not going to reach down and change it for me. After all, if St. Paul had to live with that "thorn in [his] flesh" there's no good reason I should expect to do otherwise. I have to get through every day, and prayer is certainly a major part of my being able to do so.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Unless someone suffers from an emotional disorder, I would think that being an idiot would make it easier to be an asshole. Wouldn't intelligence and reasoning ability lead to empathy and sympathy for anyone capable of such feelings?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    They have no personally experienced chronic pain and suffering so they can't imagine its impact on an existence.

    You Politicians oughta be shot. Or stabbed, lose a leg. To be a surgeon Politician, you know? Know what kind of pain you're dealing with. They make psychiatrists get psychoanalyzed before they can get certified, but they don't make a surgeon politician get cut on. That seem right to you?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I might settle for them to be subject to their own laws, Jubal.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Be careful. Beauregard Magoo's confirmation was voted YES by Mr Coathanger Abortion & Tea Party Randal Paul himself. Before that fateful vote, Randal had a better voting record than Al Glowball Franken, but not any more. No wonder his neighbors kick sand in his face and Democrat whackos try to bushwhack him!
    The Republican Platform calls for another Harry Anslinger to undo the progress the Liberal Party of 1931 and Libertarian Party of 1971 have brought about. Trump simply appointed the ignorant bigot his--and Randal's--party's platform demanded.

  • DenverJ||

    The tinfoil getting a little tight? Cutting off oxygen to the old grey matter?

  • skeptikal||

    All e!se aside, I know trump calls him Magoo, but I've always seen him as an elf.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    This wins the prize for most incomprehensible post of the first quarter of 2018 and is certainly in the running for the annual award.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Jeff Sessions is an idiot. Yeap.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Legalize all drugs. You eliminate the drug gang/cartels source of income and you eliminate the OD problem caused by not knowing what's in the product. There is no need to punish users. The addiction is the punishment. This is a health care problem, not a law enforcement problem.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    It's always bemused / astounded me that on the one hand, these drug warriors claim drugs must be fought because they are so deadly, yet their weapons are locking people up as scum instead of letting them die like they deserve for being scum.

    If nature took its course without government intervention, drugs would be cheap, and the only people to die would be the addicts (if drugs really are that dangerous). There would be no more accidental drug deaths than there are accidental water deaths or accidental car deaths. There would be no more drug pushers than there are apple or fountain pen pushers.

    But they make drugs illegal, which creates tremendous profit incentives, which breeds pushers, which creates more excuses for more intervention. Everything evil with the illegal drug trade is a direct result of government intervention in an otherwise harmless business.

  • Louis XVI||

    It's all so fucking crazy. People wouldn't have gone near these Dr. Frankenstein synthetic drugs if they could have chosen marijuana but instead they bought gas station potpourri sprayed with whatever synthetic cannabinoid that hadn't been emergency DEA listed and outlawed. Kids who just wanted to smoke pot were instead using this garbage. I know there are DEA agents who understand the evil of prohibition. I don't how they carry on. I would sabotage the war in every possible near undetectable way if I was working for the state.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    People wouldn't be using heroin if they could get legal opium.

    I wouldn't have any problem with keeping heroin and the high-potency, "Dr. Frankenstein" synthetics illegal if opium were legal. Opium addiction can be pretty bad -- and the addicts can be pretty degenerate -- but its problems are far less malignant than than the problems caused by heroin and synthetics in a WOD.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Don't outkick your coverage, son. Medical marijuana does not always work better than opioids. Sometimes it is more helpful, sometimes not. That's why God invented "options"

  • Mauser||

    So true, look at prohibition in the 1920s, alcohol was much more dangerous because you didn't know what was in it or if it was properly distilled & the violence that came with it, shit the classic gangsters from that era was in part due to prohibition — Al Capone etc.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Actually alcohol abuse and the disease and death associated with it did decline significantly during Prohibition. It was still wrong.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    And how many died from bullets instead?

  • Vernon Depner||

    And how many died from bullets instead?

    Mostly just those who put themselves in the path of the bullets by choosing to be involved in the business. But as I said, "It was still wrong."

  • Agammamon||

    Only for a couple of years - then it peaked *above* the pre-prohibition levels.

  • Vernon Depner||

    That's not what I've read but I don't want to play Dueling Links with you.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Al Capone distributed products manufactured by Corn Products Refining, Fleischmann's, Hershey, Hubinger Brothers and American Maize Company, Texas Gulf Sulphur and corn farmers. Those were the folks who bought the politicians and lobbyists who sent men with guns to make light beer a felony and asset forfeiture "our" official policy under the 16th and 18th Amendments. Whatever fools ban is instantly worth four times as much.

  • LarryWilson||

    While I oppose the criminalization of recreational substances, it's rather naïve to believe that legalization fixes "the OD problem caused by not knowing what's in the product."

    People OD on drugs with and without quality control.

    And how is this a healthcare problem?

  • Agammamon||

    Its vanishingly rare that someone using legally acquired opiates, legally, ODs on them.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If you know what the exact dose of something is than you can control how much you take. Overdoses of legal substances are exremelly rare outside of attempted suicide which you can't stop anyways.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's a health care problem because addicts need medical help not a criminal record that ensures that the rest of their lives are screwed whether they get clean or not.

  • Notknown||

    That would make too much sense.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    These are the people who made Jeff Sessions Attorney General, in order of culpability:

    1. Donald Trump, for being Donald Trump.

    2. Mitch McConnell, for holding the Supreme Court seat open, thus giving "honest" conservatives a good reason for voting for Trump.

    3. Paul Ryan, for not having the nerve to say that honest conservatives should not vote for Trump.

    4. Hillary Clinton, for being Hillary Clinton.

    5. Barack Obama, for screwing up as president on a frequent basis and being a frequently out to lunch leader of his political party, to the extent that in 2016 it had no one capable of beating the painfully uninspiring Mrs. Clinton.

    6. Senators like Rand Paul and Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake, who knew that Sessions was a borderline racist xenophobe but were afraid to say so out loud.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Your #2 is bizarre. "Honest" conservatives should have put Obama's pick on the Supreme Court? "Honest" conservatives would have voted for Hillary if not for Donald Trump?

    Then #3 says that "honest" conservatives should have voted for Hillary over Trump?

    And #5 -- Obama is at fault for, what, not being a Republican? Not being competent? Are you not going to list Bush Jr who made Obama look intelligent? Are you not going to blame the Dems who voted for Obama over Hillary?

    Not sure what you're trying to say. The little bit that makes sense is outweighed by the nonsense.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Hillary Clinton is the one person who deserves the least blame for what's happening today. She would be President if not for Russian hacking, sexist media coverage throughout the campaign (making a big deal of her e-mails and minor fainting incident), and a terrifying resurgence of white nationalism that motivated racists to vote for the candidate who promised to "build a wall and make Mexico pay for it."

    And even with the deck stacked against her, Hillary still got millions more votes than Drumpf. So add the Electoral College to the list of things to blame for this nightmare regime we're living under.

  • Mauser||

    "A terrifying resurgence of white nationalism" = false.

    One of the primary reasons the dotard got elected was identity politics that every fucking group in the country were ramming down white Americans throats, the backlash with the alt right is partly to blame on whites getting sick of being told that they are to sit back & stfu and take the blame for sins that they never committed. Between the feminists, the SJW's and flamethrowing organizations such as the SPLC it shouldn't be a wonder that someone like Trump got elected. The alt right is abhorrent and anti liberty but the left is partly to blame.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Spot on. There's backlash for everything, and everything has consequences. Go ahead and blame Harvey Weinstein for being a jerk, but he didn't put a knife to their throat; how many victims shut up because they wanted the glory he could parcel out? How many politicians turned a blind eye because they wanted his money?

    And then to suddenly get woke because the lid couldn't stay down any more, and blame it on while males in general. And THEN, to top it off by wondering why the alt-right is so popular.

    And the damned SJW lap it up. The definition of unwoke, IMNSHO.

  • Will Nonya||

    By "making a big deal of her e-mails" do you mean when she violated federal law then obfuscated the evidence to avoid prosecution? Those emails?

  • TGoodchild||

    Class A trolling - you need to teach a class.

  • Vernon Depner||

    "Class A trolling"? All he does is frankly state what actual liberal Democrats are saying. Good parody requires just enough exaggeration so that astute readers will notice the wink. OBL just strings together direct quotes. Of course, leftists are now so absurd that actual parody of them probably isn't even possible anymore.

  • A_Spellman||

    Russian hacking? Seriously, one day we'll look back at this with the same sort of "why the heck was this important" that we give hiding under our desks in a nuclear war. There was no russian hacking, just a lot of russian spam and trolls sowing a small bit of chaos, like they always do. No votes were changed, and the effect the trolls had was minimal. That they also were playing both sides is more proof that they weren't very effective.

    As to sexist media coverage, HRC's emails are important, since she feels she's above the law and regulations. The fainting incident and the media coverage on it would have been the same for a male running for president.

    And you trying to paint Trump voters as racist just proves you're one. People didn't vote for trump because of skin color. People voted for Trump because the other party had done everything it could to ram despair down our throats. Trump hit the chord of real, actual Hope.

    And what's wrong with white nationalism? We got black nationalism, hispanic nationalism, LBGTQWRZY nationalism? Why can white folk not be proud of their culture?

  • Vernon Depner||

    There is no such thing as "white culture". There is no Whiteland. There is no Whitish language. There is no cultural tradition shared by all "white" people. "White" is merely a term of art from the argot of racialism. It does not refer to any specific people. Who is "white" is situational.

  • Augustine||

    LOL, ha, ha.......oh wait....you're serious. So Hillary, the person who bribed the DNC so as to cheat Bernie out of the nomination is some blameless little lamb wandering the wilderness bleating how much she loves the people? Ok, that is MUCH funnier, I have to admit.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Alan Vanneman,

    6. Senators like Rand Paul and Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake, who knew that Sessions was a borderline racist xenophobe but were afraid to say so out loud.


    Is your claim that their warnings were necessary for you to realize the obvious? Were you oblivious? Is your mind a clean slate?

    Idiot.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    No, you pathetic idiot. By "say so out loud" I meant vote the fuck against him. I knew Sessions was a shit years ago. I don't need those twerps to tell me what to think. Jesus, you're slow.

  • Knutsack||

    Then why didn't you say "vote against him"? We need to read your mind to understand your comments?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    For all his faults, how is Sessions racist? Anymore, that just sounds like progtard talk.

  • DenverJ||

    It doesn't really matter who won the election; the job of Attorney General will always go to an authoritarian. Always.

  • SIV||

    ^THIS^

  • Hank Phillips||

    I would put the Democratic Party platform committee top of the list. When there was a nuclear-armed Soviet Union it made sense for totalitarian betrayers to undermine US energy capability as an act of simple treason--or loyalty to Altruria. But to write platform planks putting electrical power generation on a par with Yellow Fever or Ebola long after Soviet communism had no chance of taking over These States and rewarding backstabbers was the true height of moronic superstition that made even Beauregard appear rational by comparison.

  • Jerryskids||

    Speaking of idiots, there's Geraldo Rivera on Fox agreeing with Mark Levine's outrage over the unprecedented attacks on the President's children, who are normally off-limits for attacks. Imagine if Sasha and Malia had been attacked the way Ivanka and Don, Jr. are being attacked by the press? You can't possibly believe that we're stupid enough to believe that when you put your adult children into high-level positions in your administration that they should be immune to criticism the same way previous President's school-age children were. Sure, Caroline and John-John had nothing to do with JFK's administration, but are we going to say his little brother Robert should be off-limits as well?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You mean like put your only daughter as head of your "charity" and expect nobody to bad mouth her?

    The media put Obam's kids in the media to show how the King of Kenya and Queen of Chicago are the perfect family. Fine but then don't be surprised when people have something to say that counters that narrative.

    IIRC, Bush's daughter remained mostly unseen until one of them became a whore and party animal. She didn't didn't seem to respect herself or that her father represented the USA.

    Trump put some of the few people he could trust in the Executive branch. I would say that makes them fair game too.

    Once again, Trump is just distracting the lefties with stuff they can TDS about while he tries to rollback government.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Once again, Trump is just distracting the lefties with stuff they can TDS about while he tries to rollback government.

    Yep.

  • racer X||

    ... " Once again, Trump is just distracting the lefties with stuff they can TDS about while he tries to rollback government."

    Are you missing a "/sarc"? I spent the day yesterday dealing with fall-out from Trump's threatened Section 232 tariffs. Smothering the U.S. industrial is some roll back of the government. Or is this 8-D chess?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think we've moved on to a bunch of chess pieces just floating around in a hyperspace of unknown dimension. Also, some of the chess pieces randomly turn into turds. They change back, but the smell lingers.

  • Augustine||

    So a girl who goes off to college and explores her burgeoning sexuality is a whore? I bet you were a hoot in the 19th century.

  • Kivlor||

    Whore
    noun \ ˈhȯr , ˈhu̇r \
    slang
    "a sexually promiscuous woman"

    Yup. Pretty much the definition of a whore dude.

  • Will Nonya||

    You mean attacks on adults who have taken political appointments? And not attacks on Barron for being dressed like his gentleman's gentleman was in the gents at the time?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Jeff Sessions represents the bad side of the Republican party. Social conservatism is how the GOP uses government to control what Americans put in their bodies, do with their bodies, and do with their wealth.

    Luckily, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has mostly been on a tight leash based on Trump's policy for the Executive. This includes not going balls to the wall with the War on Drugs.

  • Mauser||

    Yeah, I could definitely see Sessions unleash on drugs if he had power. He did compare marijuana to the hard stuff.

  • Louis XVI||

    Trump wants to kill illicit drug transactors so I don't how the fuck you square that with your belief that Trump has Sessions on a tight leash.

  • Will Nonya||

    You have to remember that Trump is more about bluster and perception than action. He wants to rattle all of the cages but not necessarily open all of them. It's this childish view of the world that allows him to be surprised when the cages he's rattled manage to get opened anyway.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Source? I'm asking for a friend who collects God's Own Prohibitionist pleadings for genocide as the Final Solution to opposition to prohibition.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: loveconstitution1789,

    Social conservatism is how the GOP uses government to control what Americans put in their bodies, do with their bodies, and do with their wealth.


    Don't forget: and who they cannot hire.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You mean people braking long established immigration law? That's pretty much backed by everyone except open borders nuts.

  • Steve S.||

    I've posted this before, but I have Bilateral Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia. I'd love the opportunity to speak to these lawmakers, because even with my condition, which essentially gives my Doctors carte blanche to prescribe anything that works, they are afraid to prescribe Opiods.

    Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux, sometimes is described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity. The pain typically involves the lower face and jaw, although sometimes it affects the area around the nose and above the eye. This intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw. It usually is limited to one side of the face
  • Rod Flash||

    " I'd love the opportunity to speak to these lawmakers"

    You think they haven't heard it before? From even more eloquent and impassioned sources? They. Don't. Fucking. Care.

  • Steve S.||

    What makes you think it's about convincing them of anything? It's about saying my piece, and looking them in the eyes and making them explain themselves.

  • Louis XVI||

    I'm calling a shit ton of elected officials Monday and telling them your situation. I'll white lie and say you're my brother.

  • Steve S.||

    Thank man I appreciate it.

  • John C. Randolph||

    They'll just ignore you or insult you. Make your case to other voters, not those assholes in the congress.

    -jcr

  • Steve S.||

    I suppose I do have something worth talking to other people about, I just hesitate to discuss it because I figure we all have our cross to bear, I'm not special.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Entrenched politicians sure as hell care about libertarian spoiler votes, especially after losing to a less totalitarian candidate. Half the people in these comments appear to be Gee Oh Pee shills planted here to stop folks (especially women) from voting libertarian and repealing cruel and superstitious laws.

  • silver.||

    Isn't that the "suicide pain?" Neuropathic pains aren't all that responsive to opiods, but a high enough dose will at least let you ignore it for a few hours. That sucks man. I know opiates are bad and all that, but I absolutely cannot abide this 7% decrease in prescriptions over the past year that Sessions is gloating about. As our population grows we're reducing the supply of medicine?

    I don't get it. Is doctors prescribing pain pills really such a massive social problem? With the crackdowns, shouldn't this epidemic be getting better, not worse? Where were all these now-dead junkies when there were more legit drugs floating around .. ?

    Quit trying to regulate morality. If people aren't running folks over or otherwise harming people or property, leave them alone.

    Super simple stuff.

  • Steve S.||

    Yes, it's the "suicide disease ", and you're right about it not generally responding to opiates, but that's usually typical neuralgia, the atypical type is sometimes responsive to them. I have both types, unfortunately, so my daily routine is 900mg of Trileptal twice a day, which is an anticonvulsant, and for the occasions when it becomes unbearable, Percocet usually helps. But yes, if I only had Type 1, Opiods would be ineffective.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    OT: Brooklyn man wins nearly $1M lawsuit after NYPD cop tried to frame him on DWI charge
    It starts:

    cops tried to charge Oliver Wiggins with driving while intoxicated to cover up for a police officer who ran a marked SUV through a Brooklyn stop sign and plowed into Wiggins' car.

    It finishes:

    No charges have been filed against the cops. All of the officers involved are still employed by the department.
  • Mauser||

    The NYPD paid out nearly $400 million dollars on 12,000 corruption cases in a four year period ending in 2014 — with figures that staggering imagine all the cases that never were busted.

  • SusanM||

    Whole lotta "bad apples". Maybe they should stop fertilizing the orchard with bullshit...

  • Juice||

    Any relation to KenM?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    have undergone multiple surgeries that sliced me open from stem to stern, each time leaving dozens of surgical staples in my belly, making my torso look like I big zipper.

    Pics? Thanks.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    And on Saturday afternoon, from 4.30 to 5:00, I'm happy to announce the Reason will be giving away a special, super-secret gift to the first few hundred people who come to the "continuing the conversation room" immediately after Peter Suderman's panel. So make sure to stop by! Supplies are extremely limited and will run out incredibly quickly.

    Will it be mushroom chocolates. If I was hanging out with all those right-wing winbags I'd like to be good and ripped. Where's Noam Chomsky at this LibertyCon?

  • MarkLastname||

    Why would a Stalinist be at Libertycon?

    There's nothing libertarian about defending Pol Pot and blaming the Rwandan genocide on the Tutsis. Chomsky is every bit as bad as David Duke.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    Nick, I need some of that good shit to listen to all these right-wingers smear people who have been absolutely consistent in opposing America's hegemony and the military-industrial complex.

  • TLBD||

    The guy can't even admit he was wrong about Venezuela.

    I asked him, "Should you now say to the students who've learned from you, 'Socialism, in practice, often wrecks people's lives'?"

    Chomsky replied, "I never described Chavez's state capitalist government as 'socialist' or even hinted at such an absurdity. It was quite remote from socialism. Private capitalism remained ... Capitalists were free to undermine the economy in all sorts of ways, like massive export of capital."

    This is the intellectual leader of the left. It would be funny if it weren't so terrifying. These people live among us.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin Pot||

    I'm for exposing young minds to as diverse an intellectual environment as possible. That being the case, it might be nice to have someone on the panel tell them that the worst imposition that the government can place upon the individual is to send said individual into a bullshit war from which they don't return or from which they suffer lifelong physical and mental scars. Given what I've seen from the speaker's list I don't think the college kids there-- bless their hearts-- may be getting that message. I mean I know government plots to regulate bitcoin are bad, but so is government plots to invade a sovereign country.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    The draft's gone, Josie. You can come back from Canuckistan now.

  • silver.||

    Don't most of us around here oppose the pointless wars and enormous military industrial complex?

    At least defense spending is at least constitutional .. just not for a massive standing army fighting in conflicts enacted by the executive alone.

    Also, I don't know about LibertyCon, but why would we care if you take mushrooms and howl at the moon? Just don't run anyone over while you're tripping and we're cool.

    Why do you believe that anyone cares what you do? Do you have paranoid schizophrenia or do you just feel deeply inadequate?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    AmSoc, if you're against America then you're a traitor. Turn yourself in so you can be executed right away.

    Which should be the fate of all marxists.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Jeff Sessions is a standard-issue, old-timey, right-wing authoritarian.

    A drug warrior, vote suppressor, anti-abortion zealot, strident xenophobe, hateful gay-basher, secrecy-and-surveillance champion, belligerent militarist, ardent censor, and energetic flag-fondler (Confederate and otherwise).

    A true son of Alabama, which should never have been readmitted to statehood.

  • Louis XVI||

    Sure enough is.

  • Rod Flash||

    Sho 'nuff is.

  • Louis XVI||

    That's the way I intended. TK

  • Vernon Depner||

    If the US had let the Confederacy go, today the South would probably resemble Guatemala.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    More South Africa, I'd think.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    We should not have "let the Confederacy go." We should have established a strict of unincorporated territories along the United States' southern border.

    Imagine an America with no senator from Alabama, no electoral vote from South Carolina, no House member from Mississippi.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well, that's one way to stop black people from voting.

  • Eidde||

    How can you say that to the good reverend? He is a beacon of tolerance and decency, doing God's work by fighting the clingers, rednecks, and people who can't keep up, but who are bizarrely permitted to vote in this country.

    Does that sound like the attitude of a bigot?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Why does everyone nowadays just assume that pointing out the disparate racial impact of a state-sanctioned violation of rights must be meant as criticism?

  • Eidde||

    Yeah, yeah, and the New England States should have been thrown out of the Union after the Hartford Convention, whatever.

  • John C. Randolph||

    You forgot "depraved asshole with no regard for human suffering".

    -jcr

  • Will Nonya||

    So what's the real issue here? Is it over prescribing opioids to people who may or may not need them? or is it the fentanyl spiked drugs on the black market?

    Are there really that many doctors who will prescribe a gross of pills for a person with a hangnail that the feds need to go after them?

    "good people don't smoke marijuana,"
    Clearly good people don't seek to become attorney general either.

    Lastly i still struggle to understand the constitutional basis for the controlled substance act to begin with. Do people really believe the concept that state commerce effects interstate commerce so that and potential commerce falls under federal jurisdiction so they can ban any substance they want?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Are there really that many doctors who will prescribe a gross of pills for a person with a hangnail that the feds need to go after them?

    No. Most addicts start out on illegally obtained drugs. The prescription-to-addiction path is relatively rare.

  • No Longer Amused||

    This fact gets ignored almost always.

    Chronic pain up until not too long ago wasn't treated worth a crap. The FDA and DEA both need to be abolished.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Along with the ATF, DOE (both of them), and al ost all of the EPA. Then we need to cleanse the FBI, leaving only loyal Americans, so we can establish a division of the FBI whose sole purpose is to destroy Marxism in America, along with the supporters of Marxism's bastard children, fascism, socialism, and progressivism.

    Only then will America have a real chance to be truly free.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You are going to hate America's future at least as much as you have hated the most recent half-century of American progress.

  • silver.||

    Neat!

  • Verbum Vincet||

    In my experience, prescribing practices shifted in the 90s with the then-current literature, which basically said it was a good idea to prescribe adequately (not over-adequately) after an initial trauma, because if we could get the pain controlled early, the patient tended to need smaller amounts of opioids for shorter duration. This limited iatrogenic addiction, which itself is a hugely debated topic, i.e., blaming everything on the doctor is BS!

    And yes, while Prohibition was a misguided failure, I'll give the Prohibitionists credit major credit for two things:

    1. They followed the Constitution and sought states' approval and got the 18th Amendment to begin Prohibition;

    2. Shortly thereafter, they had enough integrity and honesty to realize that Prohibition was much worse than the problems it sought to remedy, and then possessed enough fortitude to ACT and pass the 21st Amendment to repeal their initial erroneous, counterproductive legislation.

  • TLBD||

    It's almost as if our government was designed this way for a reason...

  • Rod Flash||

    "Are there really that many doctors who will prescribe a gross of pills for a person with a hangnail that the feds need to go after them?"

    If so, I think their names and business addresses should be published in an attempt to shame them into stopping such an evil practice. Just that, and not to give me the opportunity to visit them because of my sore shoulder that might benefit from an opioid prescription. Shaming.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    When It Comes to Pot, Pain, and Cancer, Jeff Sessions Is An Idiot

    Fixed

  • flyfishnevada||

    So Mary Jane is a gateway drug to painkillers but folks smoke pot so they don't have to take painkillers. Seems legit. But then again, when did an authoritarian every need facts? They're just as touchy/feely as your average bleeding heart liberal.

  • JeffreyL||

    While i have great sympathy for the OP, as others have noted on reason, the problem is not Jeff Sessions. It is Jeff Sessions job to enforce the laws, not make them. If you want to change the Controlled Substances Act to remove THC from schedule 1, call up your congressman/woman and senator and get them to change the law. Complaining about the AG is counterproductive.

  • Eidde||

    Yup, Sessions is just doing his job, it's not as if he's an enthusiast for these statutes, or as if he's lobbying against saner laws, or trying to get Congress to undo what little sanity it's already put into law.

  • Eidde||

    ...and it's not as if he supervises the Pardon Attorney who advises the President whether drug sentences should be reduced.

  • SIV||

    "I really miss Holder and Lynch"

    /cosmos

  • Eidde||

    What an excellent comeback...for a supporter of Holder and Lynch.

    I personally don't miss them, though it was nice that Obama was willing to make some limited use of his pardon power to reduce certain excessive drug sentences.

  • IceTrey||

    I believe Congress has already given the AG the authority to reschedule drugs as he sees fit.

  • No Longer Amused||

    As someone that also deals with severe chronic pain, held at pay by a spinal cord stimulator that is never turned off, Jeff Sessions infuriates me. Almost as much as the neurologist I had briefly that said "he didn't prescribe opiates" and if two or three other drugs he liked didn't do the trick, then fuck you. Oh, and he made some comment about how he couldn't relate as he'd never actually been in pain.

    I was seriously considering kneecapping him in both legs in order for him to be able to "relate"...

  • IceTrey||

    You should try kratom.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Jeff Sessions Is A CUNT

    Grow some balls, Kibble.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    Definitely A CUNT..

  • skeptikal||

    Thank you. You speak for millions.

  • Deplorable Victor||

    Oh fuck Sessions and the entire State of Alabama. We'd be better off if we threw Alabama and California out of the country.

    And besides... A 48 state flag is much more aesthetically pleasing...

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I have a feeling two of the states left over would gladly step up to fill the empty niches...

    Mississippi and Massachusetts, at your service!

  • Eidde||

    Alabama (plus Louisiana and Mississippi) stood up for the power of California to legalize medical marijuana despite federal statutes.

    link

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    And Cali actually legalized it.

    It's almost as if this was never meant to be a serious discussion about expelling either state from the union...

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If there's anything to which those three states have been devoted, it is states' rights.

    Just part of what makes them deplorable.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "The nice people in 1934 eastern-seaboard America said you can't toke, and that's FINAL!"

  • Kivlor||

    "a 48 star flag is much more aesthetically pleasing"

    When I was in high school we always said the pledge of allegiance before first class. Occasionally we had a morning assembly before first period and the whole school would say the pledge together. One morning we were all in the gym, assembled, and so we said the pledge in front of the flag that was always up in the gym. Some kid got bored and counted the stars and pointed out there were only 48. Turns out that our school had not bought a new flag to put up in the gym since before Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the Union as states.

    They've still got that flag hanging in the gym.

  • ||

    I am not cancer survivor, but I have had many severe spinal surgeries and suffer chronic pain as a result. I can verify that Jeff Sessions is an idiot who is incompetent to be making any decisions involving drugs or pain. He is not just an idiot, but a self serving fool. He is part of the swamp that Trump said he would flush, but so far he has only enlarged it. This country does not need brain damaged fools like Sessions who only keep repeating the mistakes it has been making over the last 50 years.

  • SIV||

    Never been sick a day in my life but slammin' dope is better than sex

  • QuadGunner||

    Every time I see Sessions on TV, I wonder why Trump has given the Attorney Generalship to Bobby Hill.

  • Longtobefree||

    On behalf of idiots everywhere except California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Washington, I resent being lumped in with Sessions.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    My wife had cancer on and off from 1993 (a few years after we met), until she passed away from cancer in 2014, she was in her late 30's...

    She too had many surgeries and eventually a prosthetic leg and knee. She took opiates from 1993 until 2014 when she died. The last 6 or 7 years of her life the amount of opiates she took continually increased as her cancer became more and more aggressive.

    Despite taking opiates continually from when she was 19, and despite dealing with numerous and severe surgeries over this same period of time she managed to graduate college and then medical school. She practiced mostly as a hospice physician and specifically her main emphasis was in managing pain.

    If she had not had access to opiates, or if her access would have somehow been restricted or limited, I believe she would have never graduated medical school. She may have not been able to make it through college, and I think it is likely she may have also died years earlier than she did.

  • Sedona Vortex Hunter||

    If she were alive today and was somehow being denied or restricted access to opiates I would have resorted to going to the black market to get her what she needed. In fact I had bought some packets of opiate producing poppy seeds just in case....I have no idea if that would have been realistic or not regarding trying to grow poppy plants and harvest their opium, but I certainly would have tried.

    This opiate 'epidemic' was what I was afraid would happen once marijuana started to become more widely and legally accepted. I would often get frustrated with anti-drug war arguments that would only discuss marijuana--I feel the argument was purposefully guided in that direction in order to be able to ratchet up the drug war on the remaining illegal drugs once the government conceded on marijuana.

  • SIV||

    I feel the argument was purposefully guided in that direction in order to be able to ratchet up the drug war on the remaining illegal drugs once the government conceded on marijuana.

    Thankfully, GayJay didn't win.

  • Dadlobby||

    To combat illegal drugs we make doctors restrict prescribed drugs so the only option for those in pain is illegal drugs. One has to wonder if the idiot is on drugs? BTW, he also pushes asset forfeiture, so remember to grow you weed on public land or your neighbors property.

  • ||

    Stop insulting idiots!

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  • TruckinMack||

    When did 'Reason' start subscribing to the rude, crass and vulgar school of discussion. I think the author has a valid point, but he comes across as a 13 year old boy who had one beer and now thinks he is prince of the world.

    Reason, please continue to offer intelligent discussion. You are a joy for this. Please stop trying to appeal to the Teen Beat demographic. Reason, generally speaking, is an adult activity. Hormonal emotional outbursts are for adolescence.

  • SaguaroJack||

    With all respect, there is plenty of other research that shows just what Sessions is talking about. Some doctors - I've no idea who or how many - prescribe opioids unnecessarily. One suspects quite a few do. This is where Sessions is coming from. If fewer in the medical industry - doctors, mainly - were corrupt, there wouldn't be an opioid crisis.

    I've a daughter who lives with severe chronic pain. I want somebody to give her something that will let her live a normal life. If that's opioids, I'm all for it. If it's morphine, I'm all for it. But I won't pretend there aren't serious problems with such meds, like getting the dose right or taking the easy way or getting hooked. Same with opioids.

    Sessions is trying to reach that happy medium where the bad docs are scared off so that the good docs can take care of people. Give him some credit for trying, lest all those meds you took in your fight with cancer contain some that would have killed you. It's hard to fight the bad when they dress themselves up so convincingly to look good. If you have a better approach, bring it up. Calling people "idiot" doesn't cut it.

  • lamerican||

    I empathize with the comments regarding Jeff Sessions' opinions, however, his opinions are completely irrelevant. His job is to *enforce the law*. You guys are beating up the wrong person here. The Attorney General doesn't make laws. Obama was the knucklehead that had the bright idea "hey lets just stop enforcing laws".

    Congress is the one to blame for not dealing with this issue. They are the ones sleeping on the job. BEAT THEM UP. They need to change the LAW, then Sessions can enforce the law the way it should be.

    CHANGE THE LAWS.

  • Notknown||

    Unlike Liberals who won't disagree with anything one of their dictators profess is right, I , as a libertarian type conservative can disagree with Trump who I think is a great president. One issue I am totally against Trump and most conservatives on us their insane war on drugs, particularly marijuana.

  • TheWay1||

    Sigh, why is it that people never seem to be able to understand the suffering of others until it happens to them or their family?

  • MickiB63||

    Idiot is a very mild term for sessions.
    His mission is to save addicts while killing CPPs!
    Criminalizing law abiding legitimate documented pain patients forcing us to suicide is tantamount to GENOCIDE! Our government claims to abhor the genocide in other countries
    Yet the are condoning it here at home! He needs to be jailed and caused to live in excruciating pain for every second of the rest of his life. With only aspirin every day

  • Rynosaur||

    I'm sure Jeff Sessions hasn't toughed anything out. Him telling other people to do it is hypocritical. The guys looks like he'd crumble into dust if you patted him on the back. With how much I'm sure he pats himself on the back, I'm shocked he hasn't crumbled (although I pray for it daily).

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