On Wednesday Jeff Sessions took his dislike of marijuana to a whole new level by saying that marijuana use is “only slightly less awful” than heroin addiction.
Sadly, this outrageous comment was not made on the cuff, nor was it some misinterpreted slip of the tongue, but rather part of a statement Sessions prepared for a speech that was given in front of law enforcement officers earlier this week in Richmond, Virginia.
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“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable,” Sessions said “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store.
“And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful,” he added. “Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
Instead of supporting the progress the marijuana movement has made over the past two decades, Sessions went on to explain his desire to bring the United States back to the era of Nancy Reagan and her “Just Say No” shenanigans.
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“In the ’80s and ’90s, we saw how campaigns stressing prevention brought down drug use and addiction. We can do this again,” Sessions said. “Educating people and telling them the terrible truth about drugs and addiction will result in better choices. We can reduce the use of drugs, save lives and turn back the surge in crime that inevitably follows in the wake of increased drug abuse.”
Some of the latest statics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a federal health agency, shows around 13,000 people died in 2015 as a result of a heroin overdose – that’s a higher body count than what was produced through gun violence. Yet, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, there has never been a recorded case of anyone dying from an overdose to marijuana. What’s more is, recent studies have shown that opioid-related incidents are on the decline in states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Furthermore, a recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering, which examined more than 10,000 scientific abstracts, found that marijuana does have medicinal benefit.
This is why pot proponents are calling Sessions’ latest statements “factually inaccurate.”
“Sessions needs to stop spreading unfounded, unscientific theories about medical marijuana and take the time to actually meet the millions of Americans that are benefitting from its use before making comments about it being over-hyped,” Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, told The Fresh Toast in an emailed statement.
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