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Jeff Sessions: Using Marijuana Is 'Only Slightly Less Awful' Than Heroin

Jeff Sessions continues to insist that the only America he wants to live in is one where no one is legally permitted to use substances he doesn't like.

Conceding that it might "unfashionable," Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his belief today that expanding access to recreational marijuana is a disaster for Americans.

"I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that's only slightly less awful," reads the text of a speech Sessions delivered today to law enforcement in Richmond, Virginia. "Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life."

That line about marijuana? It came just seconds after this one: "Every three weeks, we are losing as many American lives to drug overdoses as we lost in the 9/11 attacks."

In a question-and-answer session following the speech, Sessions seemed to dial back his rhetoric, telling reporters that the Obama-era Cole memo, which de-prioritized federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal for recreational and medical use, is "valid."

"We're not able to go into a state and pick up the work that the police and sheriffs have been doing for decades," he said.

Sessions also talked up the impact of Project Exile, a program developed during the 1990s by U.S. Attorneys in Richmond to bring federal gun charges against Richmond-area drug offenders.

"This Department of Justice will encourage more efforts like Project Exile in cities across America – coordinated strategies that bring together all levels of law enforcement to reduce gun crime and make our cities safer."

Criminal justice researchers are divided over Exile's effectiveness, particularly in Richmond, which has since abandoned the project. Data analysis and reporting by 538 suggests that the Project Exile model, which boils down to bringing federal gun charges--and their lengthy mandatory minimums--in cases that would otherwise be prosecuted by local law enforcement, is a suboptimal way to reduce gun crime.

"In the [Rochester] program's 18 years, judges have handed out 633 sentences for a total of 3,411 years in federal prison. But the city had 24 gun murders last year — giving it a rate more than four times New York City's. And community relations with police, as in many cities, are strained. The enthusiasm for Exile appears to be based more in rhetoric than in evidence, which leaves some people asking whether it's worth the human costs."

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  • CooterBrown||

    Get this little inbred geezer outta Washington.

  • Juice||

    He does look like that kid in Deliverance, doesn't he?

  • Rich||

  • Zeb||

    How old is Sessions? Could be the same guy.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Except he couldn't get a hog off.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Sessions is slightly less awful than H_____.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    ...illery?

  • rudehost||

    Haggis? ... Nope note true

    Sessions is slightly less intelligent than H_____

    There that works

  • Cynical Asshole||

    "In the [Rochester] program's 18 years, judges have handed out 633 sentences for a total of 3,411 years in federal prison.

    Sessions probably sees those numbers as a good thing. I wouldn't shed a tear if that motherfucker had an unfortunate woodchipper "accident."

  • Rhywun||

    TL;DR but Rochester is my hometown so I was curious. And... of course, the whole thing is mired in racial navel-gazing. Never mind that there is at least 1/2 of the city I would not set foot in alone today - and I would know because every school I attended was in one shitty neighborhood or another. Or that very many of these folks are paid to stay poor and sit around in projects all day. Or that state and local policies conspire to make it easier to sell drugs than to get off your ass and find (or make) work.

  • Conchfritters||

    One of the best arguments for legalization. Put the lazy people out of business and make them find a legitimate job.

  • pan fried wylie||

    inoperable foot injury resulting in chronic pain.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Christ, what an asshole.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Jeff Sessions is only slightly less awful than Hitler.

  • Rich||

    "Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life."

    "Why, just look at what the last President did to *yours*!"

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I'm guessing that the WoD destroys far more lives than the actual drugs. Trying to explain that to a die-hard drug warrior like Sessions would be like trying to explain quantum physics to a Neanderthal though.

  • Rich||

    Yep. The drug-problem problem.

  • Tyler.C||

    Hey let's be fair to neanderthals, they were capable of complex thought.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I don't see anybody here harnessing fire for the first time. Morans.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Hey, unless you're a pureblooded Sub-Saharan African, you're at least 3% Neanderthal yourself.

    That said, Neanderthals had larger skulls than modern humans, whereas Sessions's head looks oddly shrunken.

  • ||

    Which begs the question: Do we owe our relative advancement in intelligence to the fact that we are really hybridized inter-species Hominids? And can we really call ourselves Homo Sapiens if not are Sub-Saharan Africans the only "true" Homo Sapiens?

  • Libertarian||

    Indeed, drugs WILL destroy your life. I mean, all you have to do is look at Willie Nelson. For decades he has been touring the country in a freakin' bus, playing shows, banging on that torn up guitar of his, and yet earlier this year he had to cancel some shows -- at the early age of 82 -- because of "health issues." All because of drugs. It's a scandal is what it is.

  • Conchfritters||

  • Conchfritters||

    Sessions is just begging for William F Buckley Jr to crawl out of his grave and smack him upside his head. It would be a bonus if ghost Milton Friedman was waiting in the wings with a baseball bat.

  • Rich||

    one life-wrecking dependency

    Nice band name.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That was my nickname in college.

  • Jgalt1975||

    "Nice Band Name"?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    No, just "nice." It's what all the girls said.

  • American Memer||

    Nah, probably "dependency Nice."

  • Billy Bones||

    I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate once more (but surely not the last), "FUCK YOU VERY MUCH RAND PAUL FOR NOT HAVING A SET OF BALLS AND VOTING "NO" ON THIS CIVIL LIBERTY HATING, GNOME-LOOKING, TYRANNICAL POS."

    I wish Jeff Sessions no ill-will what-so-ever, but make no mistake, I will be the first person dancing the jig on his grave.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Shame the little turd didn't actually commit perjury.

  • Heddin_South||

    He did, but who will prosecute?

  • Glide||

    I would totally agree with Sessions ... in that regular voluntary consumption of a pleasure drug that can kill you is only slightly more awful than regular voluntary consumption of a pleasure drug that can't. We're all going to die anyways.

    Of course I would then proceed to also put cheeseburgers as slightly more awful than marijuana, and masturbation as slightly less awful, and so on. Sessions doesn't acknowledge that continuum based on degrees of danger, it's just good and evil as defined by him.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Marijuana, cheeseburgers, and masturbation? Sound like a typical commenter Friday night.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Friday? Pshaw, throw in some beer and that barely gets you to a good Tuesday.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's a lunch break. Hell that's every break.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You wait until breaktime?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It's as many times a day as I have the energy and stomach space for.

  • jmg09||

    Good times.

  • Trainer||

    Are we sure he's not misquoted and actually said that using marijuana is "only slightly less AWESOME" than using opioids.

  • XenoZooValentine||

    Jess Sessions "Only Slightly Less Useful" Than My Ass Hair, Film At 11

  • AlmightyJB||

    If rather have your ass hair running the justice department.

  • Necron 99||

    "...using drugs will destroy your life."

    Because the state will catch you, throw you in a cage, hold a trial, make you spend your life savings or any savings you may possibly have in the future, take you away from your family, introduce you into a violent world of cage matches and the un-fun form of ass sex, ensure you can no longer find good employment after the cage match/ass sex life, make you pay for their brother-in-law's AA program for the next 20 years, and keep you dependent on them for the rest of your life.

    Yep, smoke a joint and you will destroy your life, and the state is more than happy to help facilitate that.

  • Conchfritters||

    ^^^^

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Hell, you might not even be a drug user, and the cops are more than willing to destroy your life anyway. And that's assuming you survive the encounter.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Voting for blue and red looter prohibitionists is a gateway to just that sort of mystical kleptocracy. Don't even think of blaming me!

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    divided over Exile's effectiveness, particularly in Richmond, which has since abandoned the project.

    Sessions is being true to form for his world. Never bet against gov doubling down on failure.

  • AlmightyJB||

    If your're an idiot, you should at least not be an asshole.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Jeff Sessions does have much to be humble about, it's true.

  • ||

    Sometimes, something being only slightly less or slightly more awful than something else makes all the difference, for example, the difference between Jeff being the AG or not.

  • Zeb||

    So do people like Sessions actually believe the shit they say about marijuana? Or do they just not care that what they say is utter nonsense?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Have you looked at the sums nationalized through faith-based asset forfeiture looting? They leveled off a tad after the economy tanked... in 1932, 1987, 1992 and 2007

  • Mauser||

    I think we should have a great smoke out protest in Washington, tens of thousands of stoners toking all at once, preferably in front of this freedom hating geezer.

  • Jerryskids||

    Jeff Sessions: Using Marijuana Is "Only Slightly Less Awful" Than Heroin

    Jeff, were you shooting up the reefers or taking a big ol' bong hit of heroin when you reached that conclusion? Because, either way, you were doing it wrong.

  • gaoxiaen||

    He prefers suppositories. Extra big ones.

  • JeremyR||

    What kind of libertarians are you? There's nothing wrong with using heroin.

  • kevin_hunt||

    "I am astonished to hear people" said sessions. Yes we know....you usually only hear the creepy voices in your head that tell you what to do.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Jeff Sessions is only slightly less awful than Eric Holder.

    Donald Trump is only slightly less awful than Hillary Clinton.

    Etc.

  • Hank Phillips||

    So Harry Anslinger II still wants the death penalty for weed... just like George Holy War Bush and his Republicant cohort... yawn. If the Dems had included a repeal plank instead of trying to make electricity a controlled substance, that cretin would still be babbling to the Baby Jesus, importuning none but fellow brainwashees. As things stand, every dirty cop and DA now sees in Sessions another asset-forfeiture gravy train, followed by another financial panic and collapse caused by anything BUT gubmint looters with guns.

  • patskelley||

    Bama's still got them blue laws to protect the sensitivities of http://www.stateliquorlaws.com/state/AL with dry and wet counties so his head is stuck firmly in the prohibition era of his youth...otherwise known as where the sun don't shine

  • No Yards Penalty||

    What an asshole.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.

    Ban psychiatric medication! Ban alcohol! Ban nicotine!

  • #NotMyReason (Krabappel)||

    I ate a pot brownie last night, and here I am at work this morning despite having a cold.

    My life is RUINED.

    Because I should be using legal pharmaceutical sleep aids instead of a plant.

  • Chip the Chipper||

    He could use a joint.

  • ||

    Sessions is a drug (cannabis) segregationist, today, tomorrow, and for always. Separate water fountains for us "potheads" is next?

  • Mac61||

    Well, that's dumbass comment number 500 made by someone in this administration. Time to pop open a bottle of champagne. I'd like to thank the progs in the Democratic Party for electing these assholes, and I'd like to thank
    them in advance for nominating another prog in 2020 to rensure that we get 8 years of Trump-Bannon-Sessions and the whole profane bunch of hateful nationslists. Here's to conservatism: may it rest in peace. Here is to the Democratiuc Party that long, long ago might have given a shit about working people. Here is to endless Mindlessness.

  • John Thomas||

    Stick with the Justice Democrats or the Draft Bernie Sanders for a new political party movement. - The neo-liberals can join the Republicans as they've always not-so-secretely wanted to do.

  • Keki||

    Seriously very concerned with Sessions on the marijuana issue. He has this very wrong. He just needs to go to California or Colorado and visit a medical marijuana dispensary and see the benefits of the drug gives to recipients. I say to Donald Trump keep the promise you made on the campaign trail. LEAVE POT TO THE STATES. In fact, there's legislation moving in the House that'll take marijuana off entirely from the Controlled Substances Act.

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    This was the only serious post on this thread... there had to be at least one, right?

  • JuanQPublic||

    What gets incomprehensibly insufferable is when someone trots out something along the lines of, "Marijuana legalization is just people who want to smoke and not a real civil liberties issue..." Apparently, they are unable to connect the dots on a most remedial level.

  • TigerSurprise||

    The one serious comment above about Sessions going into a pot store in Colorado or Washington is exactly right. He should go look around inside one of the better stores and actually TALK TO the people who work there and maybe even some of the other customers. He should address the subject of FREEDOM and question weather or not this is freedom or anarchy. I can't help but wonder if he's intellectually honest enough to ponder this question. He's certainly intelligent enough. What would really be great is if he ran into ME and got an ear full of "I'm a decorated Veteran, etc., and I would like for you to just LEAVE ME ALONE so I can smoke my happy-weed and chill out after a hard day's work". I believe this man Sessions and Rush Limbaugh and other drug warriors see ALL marijuana users as long-haired, bong-hitting, unemployed, anti-social FM types. They don't see the much larger population of honest, hard working and even PATRIOTIC marijuana aficionados.
    Personally, I find it impossible to walk into one of these stores and not have the word FREEDOM automatically pop into my head. I'm glad I lived long enough to finally see it. God Bless the citizens of Colorado!

  • ||

    This not a question of Sessions' intellect, but of his moral character. This war on drugs, which I see, ultimately, as a battle of property rights (I do believe each one of us has a property right in drugs), is a moral battle, with the state squarely siding on the side of the injustice and tearing at a very basic human liberty: the right to one's person.

  • ||

    For AG Sessions, there really cannot be any distinction made of a person's right to drugs, which is no less different than one's right to his property and his person. This is nothing more than the scapegoating and the persecution of drugs and users. The upshot of these ever more stringent controls and stiffer penalties, will be a worsening of the social costs, especially of prescription drug overdoses and deaths. The worst thing, in the opinion of drug policy scholars-those who are not in the state's pocket-is the doubling down on the war on drugs, and when both public opinion and the science beg for a much needed change of course. And this does not concern itself with an economic issue, of those many vested interests seeing to it that the war on drugs continues, unabated, it is moral issue of our time.

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