When Jeff Sessions sits before his colleagues in the United States Senate for his confirmation early next year, you’re certain to hear again about a joke he told decades ago. It came up in his last confirmation hearing in 1986, when the Senate rejected his appointment to the federal bench.
Paraphrasing here, but what Sessions is said to have said went something like this …
I didn’t think the Klan were such bad guys until I found out they smoked marijuana.
Sessions has said that he meant it as a joke and that it doesn’t in anyway reflect how he feels about the hate group. To be certain, though, Sessions will be grilled on his attitude toward civil rights.
But there’s another thing here that means a lot for a Trump Justice Department — the end of that joke, marijuana.
While Sessions’s attitude toward civil rights enforcement is up in the air, his thoughts on drug enforcement are clear. Sessions believes strongly that marijuana is an evil substance and that the Obama administration’s enforcement of drug laws has been weak. Now that Sessions could be in the driver’s seat at the U.S. Justice Department, that could soon change.
Sessions is on the record saying that the “Just Say No” prevention campaigns from 30 years ago sent the right message and that good people don’t smoke pot.
“It was the prevention movement that really was so positive, and it led to this decline,” he said. “The creating of knowledge that this drug is dangerous, it 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.”
Recreational use of marijuana is or will soon be legal in eight states. Twelve more states have passed some degree of decriminalization of marijuana, and more than a dozen more have legalized marijuana or cannabis oil for medicinal use. read more at al.com