The corporate media would have you believe that the key to resisting Trump lies in the embrace of heinous individuals and institutions such as themselves, George W. Bush, and the CIA, as well as clownish figures manufactured by neocons such as Evan McMullin (formerly of both Goldman Sachs and the CIA). Ironically enough, though Trump supporters see these nefarious outside forces as the biggest threat to his administration, I believe that if Trump’s Presidency goes up in total flames it most likely will be the fault of the ridiculous fossil he chose as Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
Personally, I don’t think Trump cares one bit about recreational marijuana, but if he’s foolish enough to let Jeff Sessions run wild with his petty and moronic little Drug War, he runs a serious risk of having his administration destroyed from within. While the deep state and its various rent-seeking institutions are indeed very powerful, they are not popular amongst the American public for very good reasons. While they will continue to shamelessly and relentlessly target Trump for the most absurd of reasons (such as Russia conspiracy theories), I don’t think these tactics can bring Trump down. In fact, these blatant attacks tend to solidify Trump’s support amongst his base.
Trump can get away with acting like an authoritarian goon when it comes to attacks against the deep state and its institutions, but Trump cannot get away with acting like an authoritarian goon against the American people. If he allows Jeff Sessions to make life miserable for the tens of millions of Americans who voted to legalize cannabis, Trump will have no one to blame for his spectacular collapse than himself.
Evidence that Sessions would march down this destructive path emerged last week with some absurd commentary from Sean Spicer linking recreational marijuana use to the opioid epidemic despite zero evidence to back this up. The monumental stupidity continued on Monday with some mindbogglingly inaccurate and hysterical statements by Sessions.
Business Insider reports:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is “not a fan” of the expanded use of marijuana during an exchange with reporters on Monday, parroting the Trump Administration’s vow that there will be “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana laws.
“Most of you probably know I don’t think America is going to be a better place when more people of all ages and particularly young people start smoking pot,” Sessions said, per Politico. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago.”
Sessions further said at a speech to state attorneys general on Tuesday morning that he’s not sure “we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.”
“…My view is that we don’t need to be legalizing marijuana,” Sessions said.
Silly me, I thought Republicans believed in limited government. Seems they draw the line at adults deciding what to ingest into their own bodies.
Sessions also called the argument that marijuana can be used to treat opioid addiction “a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana,” during his Tuesday morning speech, echoing Sean Spicer’s comments comparing marijuana use with opioid addiction at a press briefing on Thursday.
Studies have shown that states with legalized marijuana have seen a drop in opioid-related fatalities.
Also, see this: The Real Reason Pharma Companies Hate Medical Marijuana (It Works).
Sessions said that the memo is under review, though he did not clarify whether the Justice Department will commit to stricter enforcement in states where marijuana is legal, reportsPolitico.
“We’re going to look at it … and try to adopt responsible policies,” Sessions said.
Lawmakers from states with legal marijuana, however, have vowed to challenge Sessions on marijuana enforcement.
“My office will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for regulating recreational and medical marijuana,” Bob Ferguson, Washington’s attorney general, said on Thursday. “I will also be very clear with AG Sessions that I will defend the will of Washington voters,” Ferguson added.
The people of Washington state will rally behind this in huge numbers. Sessions cannot win this petty, pointless fight.
Then, just when you think Sessions couldn’t be any more foolish…
Sessions further said that experts have told him there is “more violence around marijuana,” than one would think.
Tom Angell, of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, told Business Insider that by discussing marijuana and violence, Sessions inadvertently articulated one of the strongest arguments for legalization: Regulated markets.
“The only connection between marijuana and violence is the one that exists when illegal sellers battle it out for profits in the black market,” Angell said. “A growing number of states are showing that legalization is generating revenues, creating jobs, and reducing crime.”
Mason Tvert, the director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement that it’s “hard to imagine” why the federal government would want marijuana to be produced and sold by criminals rather than “tightly regulated, taxpaying” businesses.
While Sessions clearly has no idea what he’s talking about, the policy is even more idiotic from a strictly political perspective. Feds cracking down on states where the people have chosen to legalize cannabis is incredibly unpopular. In fact, I’m not sure there’s an issue that would unite more Americans than the belief that the feds should mind their own business on this issue.
As I noted in last week’s piece, Trump’s Policies Are Authoritarian, Not Populist:
While Spicer emphasized the difference between medical and recreational marijuana, he overlooked a more important distinction: between opposing state laws that allow recreational use of marijuana and supporting federal intervention aimed at overriding them. That distinction is clear in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, which finds that 71 percent of Americans “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.” By comparison, 59 percent think marijuana “should be made legal in the United States.” That means many Americans who oppose legalization nevertheless think states should be free to adopt that policy. A disproportionate number of those people are members of Trump’s party: While only 35 percent of Republicans in the Quinnipiac poll supported marijuana legalization, 55 percent opposed federal interference with it.
A CBS News poll conducted last April found even stronger Republican opposition to the sort of meddling Spicer predicted. Asked if “laws regarding whether the use of marijuana is legal” should be “determined by the federal government” or “left to each individual state government to decide,” 70 percent of Republicans said the latter, compared to 55 percent of Democrats (who as usual were more likely to favor legalization). These results make sense to the extent that conservatives take seriously their avowed commitment to federalism, which Trump also claims to support. At the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, Trump said he favored medical marijuana but had concerns about broader legalization, a decision he nevertheless said should be left to the states. “If they vote for it, they vote for it,” he said. Trump confirmed that position at a 2015 rally in Nevada: “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state by state.”
The poll results above are significant. Even those who don’t want it legal where they live, are in favor of leaving others alone.
Unfortunately for us all, the extent of Jefferson Sessions’ incompetence extends far beyond recreational cannabis policy.
The Hill reports:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Tuesday that violent crime is on the rise in the U.S. and said he will form a task force aimed at restoring law and order before the problem spirals out of control.
According to prepared remarks he plans to give at the Winter Meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, Sessions acknowledged that overall crime rates in the U.S. are hovering near historic lows.
However, Sessions warned that there are clear warning signs — “like the first gusts of wind before a summer storm” — that the nation is at a tipping point and that the trend is about to reverse.
I find this all very peculiar. White collar, corporate/Wall Street crime is at multi-century highs, but Jefferson can’t be bothered by that. Instead, he wants to allocate resources to a potential problem that many emerge. Very strange indeed.
Sadly, I think his prediction may end up being accurate. The U.S. economy has been completely strip-mined by billionaire oligarchs, and when the chickens come home to roost and the economy craters, increased violence is certainly not out of the question. The only problem here is that by focusing on that reactionary violence, and not the root cause of it (elitist criminality), you mere address the symptom, not the problem itself. Where’s the big task force for white-collar criminals? You know the group of people who actually pose the greatest threat to the Republic.
I won’t hold my breath, because like Trump, Sessions likes to punch down. Both men would prefer to focus on punishing average Americans minding their own business when it comes to their “law and order” push, rather than taking on the high-level crooks. My bet is we won’t see any bank executives jailed under Trump, but the private prisons will be filled with petty criminals who don’t pose a systemic threat to anything. I’ve never hoped to be more wrong about anything.
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