Former senator and current Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has not made any efforts to hide the fact that he thinks marijuana has no valid medical use and is not something “good people” would use.
However, his hands are currently tied in prosecuting those who grow, distribute, dispense, and possess for personal use any medical marijuana. The reason his hands are tied is because the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was passed with bipartisan support in Congress and prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) from spending taxpayer dollars to prosecute medical marijuana in states where medical marijuana is legal. The reason it was fashioned as a limitation on spending is because the amendment was added to a budget reconciliation bill. This was done for various reasons, including the fact that many who would normally be opposed to legalization of marijuana see it as a states’ rights issue. As our Orange County medical marijuana attorneys can explain, many also realize that it is a billion-dollar industry, and a lot of money and jobs would be lost if medical marijuana was targeted as it was when California first legalized medical marijuana back in 1996.
According to a recent news article from Newsweek, Sessions has made it clear he is not happy with this amendment and is now asking Congress to repeal that amendment so that he can send Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations in areas where they are legal such as Orange County.
One of the reason he cites for making such a request is because of the opioid crisis in the nation and what he calls a growing crime rate. With respect to the opioid crisis, while there is no question that this is a major problem in the U.S., but Session’s claims are not supported by the data we have.
There is, however, evidence that medical cannabis could be a valid alternative to opioid medications, and, in states where medical marijuana is legal, we have seen as much as 15 percent reduction in opioid use.
In addition to his claim that marijuana use as a medicine can somehow lead to opioid abuse (going back to the disproved gateway drug theory), Sessions also claims that using marijuana can cause an “increased risk of psychiatric disorders and psychosis.” While there is absolutely no evidence that this is true, it is an argument extended by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), yet the same agency recognizes that in areas where medical marijuana is legal, there has been a reduction in opioid abuse.
There are now efforts across the nation to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed to treat opioid addiction. This goes above and beyond the use of marijuana to treat pain instead of narcotic painkillers. Here we are seeing an effort to use medical marijuana in place of methadone. While methadone has been used for many years to treat people who are addicted to heroin and now narcotic painkillers, it is very addictive and has many of the same side effects of the actual narcotics.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
Jeff Sessions Targeting Medical Marijuana Users, Cites ‘Historic Drug Epidemic’, June 6, 2017, By Janice Williams, Newsweek
More Blog Entries:
Report: Colorado Marijuana Laws May Not be Safe, Feb. 5, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Lawyer Blog