I’m gonna guess Jeff Sessions has never smoked marijuana.
Not sure why I feel that way. Maybe it’s his hair. Or suit. Or entire personality.
I’m also going to assume he has no idea what it does to people. He probably nurses visions of stoners growing horns and bursting into flames. To find out, he would have to rely on government tests, and thanks to our ridiculous federal laws, it’s illegal to conduct research into weed’s medical benefits.
The writer Ashley Feinberg distilled my suspicions into one tweet last week.
“I don’t have any proof of this, but I believe with every fiber of my being that Jeff Sessions is pretty sure you ingest marijuana by injecting it,” she said.
But that didn’t stop our country’s attorney general from furthering his pointless war against the drug that brought us every great album, movie and Amazon review of the last 60 years.
On Thursday, Sessions reversed an Obama Administration policy that discouraged prosecutors from pursuing marijuana charges against individuals in states where the drug was legal. Under that rule, prosecution was still encouraged if the offense involved dealing to minors or furthering gang activity.
A lot of politicians pushed back, including several Republican governors from weed-friendly states. The reason? The move could still create a lot of confusion. And when it comes to cannabis laws, more confusion is the last thing we need.
Take Indiana. Republican state Sen. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, has introduced a medical marijuana bill for the 2018 legislature. Enacting it would be a common-sense move and allow Indiana to join the 29 other states with similar operations.
Because it makes so much sense, it naturally stands the same chance of survival as a popsicle re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
IndyStar reported some GOP leaders are “softening” on the issue – including House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis. But no politician honestly thinks it has a chance of passing this year.
And Sessions’ decision makes it even more unlikely. A state that’s waited this long to enact any kind of legalized marijuana is obviously skittish about the move already. The promise of clashing with federal authorities would give those anxiety-ridden fence-sitters a reason to keep medical marijuana on the shelf.
Who knows what effect it will have on Illinois’ growing push toward recreational marijuana. Which is a shame. Until Curtis Hill’s boneheaded move to declare CBD oil illegal last November, our state seemed to be turning a corner. And Lucas’ bill proves that some politicians believe in pushing us even farther into the future.
Even the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — one of the most backward government offices in the country — was getting in on the act. This December, they declared their doctors could now discuss marijuana’s benefits with pain-suffering veterans who live in states with legal weed operations.
It would be nice if Indiana’s veterans — and the rest of our population — got that chance, too. Marijuana and cannabis extracts have been found to help everyone from chronic pain sufferers to epileptics to cancer patients.
But Sessions has made that even more unlikely. Any implementation of a new program has to be smooth in order to gain public trust. This growing federal cloud would ensure that, if Indiana were to buck the odds and pass medical marijuana, the program’s origins would be shrouded in uncertainty.
Look how awfully we've botched CBD oil in the wake of Hill's ridiculous decision. Imagine the idiot-bureaucrat performance art we could pull off with a full-fledged pot operation.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Indiana will follow the lead of GOP leaders already sticking up to Sessions and pass the bill anyway.
It would be the right thing to do – no matter what the federal government thinks.