Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on the cover of the April issue of Time Magazine. The periodical is a cornerstone of American culture and has covered the most controversial topics the world has ever known. Making it on the cover of Time certainly is a statement of the significance of a person, but it is not always to praise people for their accomplishments and how they have affected the world in a positive way. Adolf Hitler appeared on the cover of Time and was even Man of the Year in 1938. It has also had great people on its cover like Martin Luther King. Marijuana’s greatest opponent, Jeff Sessions, is not being placed in a positive light in the featured article but he is also being applauded for effectively accomplishing his goals.
One of Jeff Sessions’s goals is to slow the marijuana legalization movement here in the United States. He makes statements that scare the cannabis industry and stops more people from getting involved. He rescinded the Cole Memo earlier this year that gave guidance to U.S. attorneys around the country not to prosecute state legalized cannabis businesses or consumers. Lawmakers that support marijuana legalization have had to take precious time to counter his moves by forcing the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment into legislation like the 2018 spending bill. One of the largest problems the Attorney General is creating is the battle to stop the social injustice that is caused by the federal prohibition of marijuana.
In the Time article, one of it main points of emphasis is that Jeff Sessions believes in the penal system. Instead of imprisoning less people and reforming the prison system, Jeff Sessions believes we need more prisons and to incarcerate more people. He is famous for having said, “This whole mentality that there’s another solution other than incarceration, all I will say to you is, people today don’t know that every one of these [alternatives to mass incarceration] has been tried over the last 40 years.” The U.S. already incarcerates 724 people out of 100,000 which means we imprison more people than any other country by far. The midpoint around the world is 145 people imprisoned out of 100,000. Senator Cory Booker is leading a charge to change those statistics here in the United States and believes that nationally legalized marijuana is one of the big keys to accomplish it. He introduced the Marijuana Justice Act earlier this year that focuses specifically on the social injustice of arrests for non-violent marijuana crimes. He wants records expunged and clemency granted to those currently incarcerated for low-level marijuana crimes.
Another difference in opinion has to do with addiction here in the United States. The opioid epidemic in this country is worse than any virus outbreak like Zika, yet our country does not put the resources towards combating addiction like it does the flu. Many people believe that medical marijuana is a feasible drug treatment for addiction, but not Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He does not believe in drug treatment for addiction at all having said, “we need treatment, but it is true that a lot of people it doesn’t work for.” What his exact solution for the opioid addiction is, well we are not sure. Plainly trying to scare people into not using drugs by making them illegal and enforcing harsh penalties is one of his beliefs.