Jeff Sessions, stupid, pointless, war, marijuana, Cory Gardner, FDA, Senator Gardner

Sessions’ Stupid, Pointless War on Marijuana

By Susan Kuebler

On Thursday morning Jeff Sessions walked back promises made by him (before his confirmation) and Donald Trump (during the campaign) not to roll back Obama-era policy on not prosecuting marijuana cases in states where the drug has been legalized (either for medical or recreational purposes).

In a Newsweek article published in March, 2017 they quoted some of Sessions more memorable comments regarding the drug that he considers marijuana – a drug on which no one has overdosed – nearly as dangerous as heroin – a drug that killed over 12,000 people in 2016.  Sessions is also quoted on his thoughts about the KKK – “Ok until I found out they smoked pot.”  He later claimed he said this jokingly.  Jeff Sessions, as you may remember, was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump, and his track record on marijuana is well known.

Marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug by the Food and Drug Administration, putting it in the same category as heroin, LSD, mescaline (Peyote), Ecstasy, and Quaaludes.  According the website

“Schedule 1 drugs are those, that have the following characteristic (sic), according to the Food and Drug Administration:

  1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse
  2. The drug or other substances has no currently accepted medical treatment in the U.S.
  3. There is a lack of safety evidence for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision

They go on to say “No prescriptions may be written for Schedule 1 drugs and they are not readily available for clinical use.”

In other words, because marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, pharmaceutical companies (or any other groups) are not able to test its safety or efficacy in treatment of medical conditions.  So reasons #2 and #3 are self-fulfilling prophecies.   In the meantime, anecdotal evidence shows that marijuana, or a derivative oil, can prove helpful in controlling certain types of seizures.  There is also potential that THC is also effective in pain control, which would be a huge breakthrough in containing in opioid crisis.

Even states like Georgia have approved the use of cannabis oil for treatment of certain medical conditions, and one Georgia legislator flew to Colorado to obtain some of the oil for a child suffering seizures, essentially daring law enforcement to arrest him.

Little known fact:  there is an FDA-approved drug manufactured using synthetic THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) that has been on the market for years and used to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients and increase appetites in HIV/AIDS patients.  It was developed by a small pharmaceutical company in Chicago and is now marketed by AbbVie (a division of Abbott Laboratories) under the brand name Marinol.

But back to Jeff Sessions.  He is now taking his personal crusade against marijuana national.  And there is one Republican Senator who is extremely angry, as he says Sessions promised him would not do that before his confirmation hearings.

In response to the above video during the 2016 campaign (referenced in the first paragraph of this article), Gardner tweeted out this following:

One minute later, he essentially called Jeff Sessions a liar (again, see first paragraph)

But Senator Gardner is not through with Jeff Sessions yet.

That’s right.  A Republican Senator has said he will hold up all Department of Justice nominees until Sessions changes his mind about the new policy on marijuana.  Whether this will include nominees for federal judgeships is unclear, as they are appointed by the President, but usually upon the advice of the Justice Department and with the help of its Office of Legal Policy.

Let us hope that Senator Gardner and saner minds within the Republican party prevail on the issue.  The first step would be removing marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug by the FDA so that proper research can be conducted on it.  Better yet, legalize the use of marijuana nationally.  Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol, and it certainly hasn’t stopped millions of people from smoking pot.  And an added benefit would be the dent it would put in the pockets of the drug cartels.

Surely the Attorney General of the United States has more pressing issues to tackle other than a suburban housewife smoking a joint.

“All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well”. Julian of Norwich.

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