Jeff Sessions and his old-fashioned, discredited and dangerous approach to our drug laws are at it again.
On Monday, my state of California began legal sales of recreational marijuana after the people made their voices heard in last year’s election. In response, Sessions announced earlier this week that he is rolling back a Department of Justice policy that empowered states to determine how best to handle marijuana legalization and recreational sales.
Sessions is not being smart or tough on crime here — he is just repeating the same mistakes of the past. We have to fight back:
Instead of going after transnational drug cartels, and violent crime, and traffickers of guns and human beings, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going after recreational marijuana users. That’s not being smart on crime.
What we should be working toward is a national drug policy that finally treats serious drug abuse not as a crime to be punished — but as a disease that should be treated. We need to build on the progress we have made instead of reviving a failed War on Drugs that did more to boost the bottom lines for private prisons than reduce drug use or make anyone safer.
Or, if I might suggest something obvious: Jeff Sessions should spend less time targeting recreational marijuana users and more time implementing harm reduction strategies that will help those struggling with opioids, which takes the lives of 91 Americans every day.
There is a clear path to being smart on crime here and Jeff Sessions isn’t following it — we have to make our voices heard:
What we need to do is embrace our commonality and build coalitions that have the power to advance meaningful criminal justice reforms that will reduce harmful drug use, reduce mass incarceration, and bring smart on crime policies to the forefront of our criminal justice system.
That’s why this petition is important and why I’m counting on you to add your name today.
Thanks for all you do.
U.S. Senator, California