Logic Trumps Mr. Sessions Regressive Marijuana Policies
Dear Attorney General Sessions,
After your recent remarks concerning: violence around marijuana, the idea that marijuana is part of the prescription opiate/heroin epidemic, and the newly acquired strength of marijuana, I felt obligated to write you.
History has shown us time and again that prohibition causes violence by taking the desired product away from government regulation, artificially inflating the price, and driving it into the hands of unregulated, illegal cartels who typically use violence to keep competition at bay.
Your stance that “the war on drugs”, be it cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or alcohol, reduces violence is purely political, has been proven false by the legalization efforts and progress against addiction in countries like Portugal, and here in the US where states like Colorado have effectively kept billions of dollars out of the hands of cartels with no dramatic spikes in violent crime.
Finally, you give no mention to the violence perpetrated by the police state and the private prison lobby against millions of non-violent drug offenders whose future and families are destroyed by regressive policy built on false science like “super predators” to line the pockets of prison guard unions and private prison operators. Prisoners for profit; what could be more violent?
To quote Ronald Reagan, “Government IS the problem” when it comes to regressive drug laws and the violence associated with these decades old, failed policies.
The last decade has brought us an epidemic in opiate use / abuse. The main culprit? Doctors prescribing these highly addictive drugs at unprecedented rates.
Marijuana and CBD extracts are proven alternatives to opiates for many kinds of pain, and unlike opiates, no one in the history of the world has ever overdosed and died on marijuana. They are a viable substitute to addiction and death, not a “gateway” drug to these horrible outcomes.
It’s for these reasons that big pharma has put millions of dollars into ad campaigns opposing medical and recreational marijuana over the past decade. Despite their efforts, the vast majority of Americans believe both medical and recreational marijuana is a states’ rights issue. Do you believe in states’ rights?
You’re absolutely right that marijuana science has become more sophisticated over the past few decades, including the cultivation of stronger strains with higher THC content than the herb popularized in the 60's.
There is a reason hard alcoholic spirits are regulated to 40% alcohol. There is a reason, again, government oversight, that no one goes blind anymore from drinking bathtub gin in illegal speakeasies.
If you move back towards a prohibitionist policy, you’ll simply push smart, progressive compromise on things like edibles strength, concentrates, and the THC content in marijuana flower back into the unregulated black market.
If the strength of marijuana is a real concern of yours (it is of mine), smart regulation and oversight is the only way to address it.
You’re obviously a very smart man, Mr. Sessions. While my own personal beliefs diverge from yours on a variety of issues, there is no denying that you’ve spent a huge chunk of your life in public service.
We invite you and your considerable experience to the table to devise real world, modern solutions to the problems facing our country in regards to marijuana, not to simply rehash the failed policies of the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s with little to no industry input.
Yours in service,