He is famously not a fan of marijuana, but Jeff Sessions admitted there may be benefits to marijuana.
In January, the Attorney General rescinded the Cole memo, a 2013 Obama-era protection that limits federal enforcement of marijuana laws. And in February, Sessions ignorantly associated the opioid issue with doctors simply prescribing too many pills and that “sometimes you just need to take two Bufferin or something.”
But some potentially good news: Tom Angell of Marijuana Moment found a silver lining in a key Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Wednesday. He reports that Sessions acknowledged that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana” and that it is “perfectly appropriate to study” cannabis.
But despite acknowledging cannabis’s medical potential, reports Angell, Sessions said he takes issue with the way it is currently consumed.
“Medical marijuana, as one physician told me, ‘whoever heard of taking a medicine when you have no idea how much medicine you’re taking and ingesting it in the fashion that it is, which is in itself unhealthy?’” Sessions said.
Sessions also continues to dismiss science when it comes to using legal marijuana to reduce opioid addiction. In response to Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who explained, “There are credible scientific studies that show where medical marijuana is legal, opioid overdose deaths have gone down,” Sessions replied:
“I think one study that suggested there’s some sort of inverse relationship between increased marijuana use and reducing of deaths, I did see that.
“I’ve asked my staff to take a look at it because science is very important, and I don’t believe that will be sustained in the long run.”
Sessions is no match for the piles of research that show marijuana is as a solution, not a problem, for opioid addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) noted last year that marijuana has lowered rates of prescription opioids in legalized states. And the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that cannabis can be a useful tool when combating the issue. In January, a HelloMD study revealed that 81 percent of patients prefer marijuana over opiates, while nearly all respondents (97 percent) said they believe cannabis helps decrease reliance on opiates.