BREAKING: Jeff Sessions Confirmed As Attorney General

Jeff_Sessions_(29299022521)
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Despite historic opposition to a nominee for Attorney General, today Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R-AL) was confirmed to assume the role of our nation’s top law enforcement official.

What happens next in regards to marijuana policy is unclear. We can engage in speculation as much as we’d like, but ultimately theorizing on whether or not Sessions will leverage the resources of the Department of Justice to enforce the federal prohibition of marijuana will be discovered soon enough.

For now, we must reflect on the achievements that we have made as a movement which now must be protected and continue to pursue further progress, be it at the state or federal level.

Currently, states that have implemented medical marijuana programs are technically protected from the Department of Justice under the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, however that is set to expire on April 27th unless renewed as a part of the appropriations process.

Jeff Sessions’ history in regards to marijuana policy, including making statements like “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.” and “[Marijuana] cannot be played with, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about, and trying to send that message with clarity, that good people don’t smoke marijuana” are a serious reason for concern and highlight the need to remain vigilant.  

During his confirmation process, marijuana legalization supporters with NORML made thousands of phone calls and sent tens of thousands of emails regarding Sessions plans for marijuana policy. While we lost the battle, we continue to win the war.

Our Senators, now more than ever, know this is an issue at the forefront of the minds of American voters and that we are willing and able to mobilize for it. In fact, four Senators referenced Sessions’ position on marijuana as a reason to oppose his nomination during an all night “talk-a-thon” to delay todays vote.

We will never stop fighting for further reforms at the state level and needed federal policy changes. With NORML members throughout the country organizing lobby days and taking direct action, the fight for cannabis freedom will continue with renewed energy.

NORML has resisted marijuana prohibition for 47 years – We’re not going to stop now.

Please consider signing up to be a monthly contributor to ensure that we have the resources we need to stand up to Jeff Sessions and to fight back against our nation’s failed war on marijuana consumers.

Author: Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director

You can follow me on twitter @justinstrekal

46 thoughts

  1. Letterhead:
    THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CENTER
    For Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.

    March 19, 1986

    The Honorable Strom Thurmond, Chairman
    Committee on the Judiciary
    United States Senate
    SD-224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    Re: Nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions
    U.S. Judge, Southern District of
    Alabama Hearing, March 13, 1986

    Dear Senator Thurmond:

    I write to express my sincere opposition to the
    confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district
    court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My
    professional and personal roots in Alabama and deep and lasting.
    Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States
    Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the
    ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts.
    Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a
    shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.
    For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded
    with a federal judgeship.

    I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from
    appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However,
    I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’
    confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this
    letter be made part of the hearing record.

    I do sincerly urge you to oppose the confirmation of
    Mr. Sessions.

    Sincerely,
    (signature)
    Coretta Scott King

    CSK/lm

    cc: The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
    United States Senate
    308 Senate Hart Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    1. It’s amazing in this day and age that there are those would like to send us back into the 1950s. But time and history don’t stop for anyone; like other terrible vestiges of the past, the small-minded reactionaries will eventually go the route of the dodo bird.

  2. HERE COMES THE S%^#TSTORM. No matter what he does, legalization remains inevitable. That is a PROMISE. We must stand strong.

  3. Price is another serious threat since he can help block senate action designed to marginalize the AG’s reach

  4. This is the day the D.E.A. has been waiting for.
    The true reason why Marijuana has never been removed from the Control Substance Act of 1970.

  5. I think, given Trump’s war with California, it is inevitable that Sessions will go after recreational cannabis. They will probably leave medical be – at least to begin with.

    This move would recruit all those people who hate Trump into the legalisation movement overnight. Suddenly millions of people (the protesting type) will find themselves defending cannabis legalisation. Not just in the US but around the world !

    They will not beat us !!!!!

    1. Did you folks see the executive orders that were signed during Sessions swearing in? These people are planning a crackdown on crime. And remember this “big crime epidemic” is alternative facts and not supported with any data. So instead of looking to reform criminal justice to better serve the public, Sessions is planning a good ole plantation crackdown. So they need boogie men. And guess who the fall guy is again? The marijuana consumer. Now these crazies can deport any undocumented with bag of weed. It seems strange that Trump and company keep talking about cleaning up all this crime and enforcing the laws. This makes me think that these freaks look at all the millions of pot consumers as “criminals.” Pot is the perfect gateway enforcement technique to create criminals out of thin air that otherwise would not be breaking the law; this machine has been waiting for a drug warrior.

      The good news. If there is a big crackdown it will not go well with the public or in the news. Marijuana is NOT hurting anybody. It is reducing crime and taking the business out of the shadows and into the mainstream economy. If Trump and company try to make up facts once again and say there is “major marijuana crime problem” nobody is going to fall for it. The bad news. Trump is punking so many groups and organizations that marijuana is likely to get lost in the Trump tornado.

      1. I think that is a very accurate and well-put assessment. I can only say, in addition to that, I believe Trump fully intends to use raw power — violence — to achieve his goals, and I don’t think he ever thought otherwise.

        It’s going to take ALL of America, indeed the world, to stand up to this very dangerous individual and his violent intentions.

      2. Mark,

        The scariest thing about this egomaniac is that the more criticism that is thrown at him, the ANGRIER and more vindictive this madman gets. I predict that eventually the pressure will break him and the world will see his inner Hitler. Hopefully, when this madman blows, it does not take the country with him. But right now we are on a course headed for disaster. Anybody who voted for this crazy MFer, should not only feel ashamed, but pretty bleeping concerned for humanity in general.

      3. A lot of things we thought were on their way out are going to be making a comeback with a vengeance..
        Civil Asset Forfeiture
        Zero Tolerance
        Mandatory Minimum Sentences
        No Knock SWAT raids
        For Profit Prisons
        Saturation traffic stops
        Racial Profiling
        Now isn’t that just Great.

  6. You don’t think he’ll do anything off the charts to appease Law Enforcement, Evangelicals, the Military do you..

  7. It’s a good time to shove the “state rights” issue back on the GOP. They seem to like the concept if it means allowing State level discrimination, aka LGBT rights, let’s see how the like it for cannabis.
    Maybe secession in response to Sessions is in the cards. The Political Conservatives like to “turn back the clock”, maybe 1860 is a good start.

  8. I find it demoralizing and disheartening that one small minded little turd of a man (Jeff Sessions) could have the power to thwart the will of millions of good people!

    1. He’s not one small little man. It was 62,979,879 small little minds that elected a madman… Whoever Trump nominated would have been just as bad, just not as infamous…
      Next time you get high with a Trump supported thank them for Jeff Sessions, Drug War III, and setting the cause back 30 years, they are personally responsible.
      After all these years we were this close….

      1. Agreed. And this is precisely the part that vexes me so in my thinking. How is it possible that ordinary, reasonably decent people can be so readily available to participate in the worst kinds of evil? Why are we so drawn to participate in cults, in lynchings, in group-think, in witch-burning?

        I do recommend a book I have no financial connections with whatsoever, only a fascination with the topic, and that is “The Lucifer Effect” by Dr. Phillip Zimbardo. It’s non-fiction. It lays out the psychological mechanisms behind such horrors as Rev Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre; Abu Graib; and the Stanford Prison Experiment. All of these horrors were carried out by average, non-extraordinary individuals. That’s how malleable we are, although we don’t tend to be aware of it.

        What makes us do it, in short, is The Situation. The Situation is created by The System. And The System is created by assholes like Trump and Sessions, once they have taken Power.

        They’ll add Trump Supporters to that list or horrors someday — if civilization survives.

      2. Not that I disagree with Miles here — I share his sentiment fully! Turd? That’s very charitable of you, Miles. You’re a good person. I don’t have that kind of restraint, and I’ve been called on it.

      3. And it’s not just on the marijuana front. We haven’t even begun to see the damage that Trump’s cabinet picks will unleash on those of us who aren’t super rich.

        The idea that a billionaire who made a career out of crushing the little guy in court (usually by overwhelming them with his money and army of lawyers) would “drain the swamp” is laughable. He may have drained it of certain vermin; however, he quickly refilled it with vermin far more vicious and heartless.

        I am unfortunately quite certain that he will send us into another economic crash. His cabinet vermin will feverishly work to end all financial regulations; they will make hay while the sun shines. Already the stock market is soaring—gee, what does that remind me of? As the man famously said, “Those who forget history . . . ”

        On the marijuana front, I see that many of us here are already holding our collective breaths (even many a Trump supporter, I’m sure).

      4. When Trump said he was “draining the swamp” what he meant was he was pushing out all the Obama progressives and liberals. Trump is a hater, pure and simple. He hated 8 years of Obama; so anything tied to that administration in his mind are swamp creatures. We all know that slave master Sessions did NOT agree with the marijuana freedoms that occurred under President Obama; so it is reasonable to assume that egomaniac Trump too wants to undo Obama’s tolerance of pot. We must hit back with criticism. EVERY DAY POST SOMETHING TO THE INTERNET EXPOSING TRUMP AND HIS BROWN SHIRTS! Our goal is to turn as many people against Trump as we can; and an attack on marijuana should be enough to convince even his staunchest supporters that they were conned….

      5. Good upbringing and some decent research skills are natural Drumph-repellants. Tell children the truth and teach them what the internet is for: research.

      6. Jeedi,

        In retrospect, I’m sure you’re right about the “draining the swamp” thing. Why would a “billionaire” want to drain the swamp of his own ilk.

      7. For those of you rushing to find a copy of 1984, be sure to check out ” The Iron Heel ” by Jack London, ( yeah the Call of the Guy ).
        Orwell credited it as the inspiration for 1984, several good public domain audio books available on You Tube.

  9. Yes, ol Disregard Besuregard has got his head up his asset forfeitures. He may very well dismantle state commercial marijuana markets by filing an injunction in federal court under the Supremecy Clause. As long as the CSAct has marijuana scheduled, this is a reality, as I explained to my state Senator yesterday at her office in Austin, TX.
    The reason state medical may stand and decriminalization too is that, aside from the profit margin for synthetic pharmaceutical patents under schedule II quasi-prohibition, the federal government does NOT get to tell states how to write our state criminal code. The new Republican Senator Buckingham is looking into my state Rep Isaac’s HB81 to decriminalize in order to sponsor senate versions, but expressed concern about Lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. I responded “remember were saving veterans from opiate suicide and children from severe epilepsy… maybe they wont sign it and let it ride.”

    And I think for at least decrim, they will.

    What I did not go on to say to the Republican State Senator is that all these states with decriminalization or legalization without a fairly taxed commercial market will cause an enormous increase in illegal trafficking and empower Mexican cartels and of course, organized crime within the DOJ, hence the asset forfeitures. Then, when Mexican cartels start taking over territory and shooting up families in medical grow-ops, Drumph will naturally blame Mexico for their “bad-hombres” instead of taking responsibility for BAD US drug policy.

    Not on our watch.

    Its up to us to citizen lobby our state reps. Go ahead and let them push decrim… its better than jail. But when the $#!+ hits the fan after Sessions shuts down the market lets be clear whose fault it is.

    1. By the way, speaking of speculation, I think it’s safe to say that we’re about to have ONE HELL OF A 420 this year, bro! Woo-hooo!!

  10. (Letter to my TX state Senator in response to Drumph trying to make asset forfeitures without due process a partisan problem when its bipartisan:
    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/08/us/texas-democrats-donald-trump.html ).

    Hi Ginny, (Senate Director)

    While were waiting on Senator Buckingham’s response to the evidence I presented to you yesterday on SB269 and sponsoring a Senate version of HB81 to decriminalize;
    What is Senator Buckingham’s position on SB 380 to eliminate asset forfeitures that are made without due process?
    Here is a copy of the bill:

    http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00380I.pdf

    Despite recent contraversy on this issue, there was a Republican Senator who introduced this bill because this is a personal property issue. As I said when we met, the state of Texas has every right to persue criminal state law the way we see fit for Texans. Furthermore, if we succeed in passing state legislation to allow people with severe seizures or even Texas veterans with PTSD to possess the whole plant medicine that works best to keep them alive and productive, how can we protect their assets if they can be fleeced without due process?
    I look forward to your replies and feedback. If you need anything in the way of evidence or answers please feel free to contact me anytime.

    I know Senator Buckingham is a fellow Christian, so if she is looking for courage on these bills, either in the face of threats from the white house or from Sheriff’s Associations that would use our tax dollars to tell us sick Texans should have their assets taken and thrown in jail, here is some scripture to share with her:

    “Lord, when did we see you sick or in prison and bring you food, clothes or medicine?” And the Lord said, “Even what you did for the least of these, my brethren, you did it for Me.”
    -Mathew 25:47

    Thank you and God Bless,

    Julian

    1. Greedy sheriff. Willing to steal to fund his drug war.

      Americans lost more money to asset forfeiture last year than to burglaries.

      What’s wrong with this picture.

      1. Images of the Disney characature of the evil Sherriff of Nottingham come to mind. Too bad we cant stop them with arrows and guile like Robin Hood. These days Robin Hood is reduced to a suit and tie in our state capitol’s Senate office. Hard times.

  11. Honestly in his autobiography Ghandi himself said that smoking is a form of suicide. Does that mean we can make blanket statements criticising Ghandi??

    Smoking anything is bad. Marijuana like H2O can be dangerous. Thanks normal for being precautious but Sessions statements do not read disaster for the movement, but instead as facts that any real successful pothead outta know from the gectko.

    1. Perhaps you are referring to the Gecko?

      Let’s start with facts: Geckos are lizards belonging to the infraorder Gekkota, found in warm climates throughout the world. They range from 1.6 to 60 cm (0.64 to 24 inches). Most geckos cannot blink, but they often lick their eyes to keep them clean and moist. They have a fixed lens within each iris that enlarges in darkness to let in more light.

      Geckos are unique among lizards in their vocalizations. They use chirping sounds in social interactions with other geckos. They are the most species-rich group of lizards, with about 1,500 different species worldwide. The New Latin gekko and English “gecko” stem from the Indonesian-Malay g?koq, which is imitative of the sound the animals make.

      And so, as fascinating as all that may well be, it has little or nothing to do with Gandhi and his blanket. One of us is very confused.

      But taking advice from Gandhi, maybe even his blanket, would be better than taking advice from the Gecko, for the reasons I have just painstakingly elaborated over. They’re just lizards. That would be crazy.

      Maybe Gandhi is where you should be taking advice from, as opposed to Geckos. Don’t listen to black labs named “Sam” either!

      But here’s my point: you can’t overdose on pot, sweetheart.

      I may not be the sharpest tool in the workshop, but even I know that much.

      1. Well said. Some people choose to be ignorant. Either out of fear, greed, anger, hatred, denial, you name it, its institutionalized network of ignorance out there and it gets ugly.
        So for that we educate “Pothead”:
        (Sigh… there is a whole library of peer reviewed evidence about marijuana on this webpage to use… but maybe this will get read…)
        Too much water can upset the balance and homeostasis of our blood and organs. We need water, we are made mostly of it, but too much can make us sick or simply drown us outright. Dosage is often the only difference between poison and medicine.
        But marijuana is not poison; no one has ever overdosed on marijuana in all recorded history. Even the DEA admits that.
        Marijuana creates homeostasis until all the endocannabinoid receptors are saturated, but not destroyed, such as what nicotine does. The rest get metabolized safely through the bloodstream so we cannot overdose on any of the natural chemicals in marijuana. Pure concentrated THC can create temporary impairment through excess psychoactivity, but this only lasts two to four hours and leaves no residual damage to the brains receptors, and does not result in illness or death therefore marijuana is non toxic.
        Smoked cannabis can create nonlethal restriction of respiration and carbon intake, but if so much smoke is inhaled to cause axphyxiation then the cause of death is not overdose, its axphixiation.

  12. I will avoid speculation at this point for the reason that Justin gave at the beginning of his blog: we’re about to find out, right about now!

    But war profiteers need a war; and Drug War Profiteers need a Drug War. You and I have connected the dots, and we see the open fascism and wide-spread, overt, abuse of power behind the fraudulent Drug War. We, of a broken faith in the fundamental decency of Corporate America, and with eyes wide open at the sheer horror of the shit-show that is Donald Trump and his crowd of ass-licking sickos — we understand that they intend to DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to promote that war!

    It’s not about speculation at this point, it’s about understanding the enemy and his intentions.

    Yes — naturally, they will blame EVERYONE ELSE for the violence that they created. We must continue to connect the dots for others, so that their propaganda will be ineffective.

    1. I intended the above comment as a reply to Julian, but I accidentally pushed the wrong button!! Do not — repeat, DO NOT elect me as President! Thank you.

      1. I would elect a pet rock if I thought we could depose Trump swiftly. Im sure you wouldnt want the job either. I dont think you could stomach the daily bribery.

  13. $moking $uicide has been the basis of Big Bad blanket statements cursing cannabis long enough, please read up on ubiquitous cheap modern Vaporizers! Meanwhile the DIY Flexdrawtube Oneheater described atop the free wiki article “Make… Pipes from Everyday Objects” requires less than 12.9 minutes of your manufacturing time and less than $1.29 worth of #40 screen and 1/4-inch o.d. pvc tubing, and vaporizes pretty well:
    .
    hold flametip 2″ below,
    suck smooth, slow,
    don’t start any glow
    till after 19
    seconds or so.

    Write to Duterte warning him not to equate cannabis with “drugs” in his memoes to Trump and Sessions.

  14. It may not be your responsibility to choose which federal laws to enforce, but you do have an obligation, Sen. Sessions, to choose which federal laws are unconstitutional, and immediately halt all enforcement of that law! Marijuana prohibition is the true danger, and it’s the most unconstitutional law to not only mankind, but to nature too!

  15. The glaring waste of public resources on prohibiting a relatively harmless weed argues in our favor. Money, it appears, does talk…

    “In fact, four Senators referenced Sessions’ position on marijuana as a reason to oppose his nomination during an all night “talk-a-thon” to delay today’s vote.”

    Who were these guys

    1. It would be wise for him to.

      It would greatly help America:
      – employment
      – economy
      – liberty

      I wait anxiously to see what actually happens…
      – like him or not
      Trump has been somewhat of a hybrid of
      just-what-you-expect
      and
      the_unexpected

      I wonder…

    2. Well to start he would lose the support of Law Enforcement, the Military, Evangelicals,
      White Nationalist, Pharmaceutical Industry, Chamber of Commerce, Rural voters, voters over 70, Drug testing industry, almost all of the Republican congress, Republican Governors, Republican Judges, the For Profit prison industry,, His Attorney General, almost all his U.S. Attorneys, Ted Nugent, everyone who hates stoners,
      So yeah,, let’s give him a chance,, ya never know..

    3. Jeff Sessions would take it to court anyway and win, so long as CONGRESS doesnt do their job and deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
      The biggest myth of marijuana is that the President can legalize alone.

  16. Trump’s regime of pathetic prohibishionists are at least now collected into one cleanly flushable bowl of diarrhea. Including his boss hog style fuckups, pence and price.

    Much less opposition in 4 years from now.

  17. I did not read it all.
    BUT.
    I do want to say, even good people smoke weed. Jeff is so behind the times. I just hope he doesn’t try anything crazy. More tax money to place good people like me in jail is the Wrong direction. You place non-criminals into jail, some come out true criminals on the other-side. It is time to stop doing this to good people.

  18. I am very disturbed by the statement “Good people don’t smoke marijuana!” So in contrast do good people drink alcohol? Do good people drink at Washington D,C, functions? Do good people eat junk food? Those who judge others see fault in anyone who is different than themselves! No matter how you live someone will see you as living wrong. Christians and Muslims are good examples. Both would outlaw the other if not protected by the constitution! If we can make good people by repealing cannabis laws, lets make good people of marijuana smokers.

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