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Yes and Know


Jennifer F. Knight

On prohibition, the states have spoken (so pipe down, Jeff Sessions)

Ar 170339996
Roldo
Ar 170339996
Roldo

For this week’s column, I was tempted to write a passionate piece of cannabis-fueled correspondence to Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III and call it “A Dysfunctional Love Letter to Jeff Sessions,” then ultimately thought better of it.

But on that same note, I ask this: Do you think we should respect the rights of the states; or more specifically, the rights of each state to govern its own intra-state commerce? And how do you feel about federal interference on local matters where the voters have already spoken quite clearly?

I’ve known for some time the “War on Drugs” is not really a war on all drugs, but merely a war on some drugs – a culture war, if you will. And there are active ground battles happening in at least 29 states as we speak.

According to a post on Politico by James Higdon, medical marijuana won nearly 2 million more votes than Trump in Florida last November. He went on to say that 65 million people now live in states that authorize responsible adult use; more than half of all Americans have access to medical marijuana; and almost everyone else lives in a state that permits CBD, a non-psychoactive component of cannabis. “It’s easier now to identify the six states that have done nothing to end the prohibition of marijuana than the ones that are breaking away from the federal law that treats marijuana the same as heroin,” he wrote.

Where was I? Ah yes, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions said the following in a 2016 floor speech: “You can’t have the president of the United States of America talking about marijuana like it is no different than taking a drink ... It is different ... It is already causing a disturbance in the states that have made it legal.”

And another gem, this time from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who, in 2017, claimed publicly that marijuana is only slightly less awful than heroin: “I’ve heard people say we could solve our heroin problem with marijuana. How stupid is that? Give me a break!”

On a more serious note, I am reminded tonight that there is no argument nor forward motion in any sport – journalism included – without the work of the opposition. And in this case, the harder Sessions works and the more he throws around irresponsible and opinion-based statements, the more I have to write about. We’re not on the same team with regard to federal interference in matters of local law enforcement, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect him or his duty to this great country of ours. I mean, how could I not respect a man with such a powerful pen?

I also respect good and honest law enforcement. I have no desire to live in a lawless society. And that’s not what the anti-prohibition folks are asking for. At no time, on any ballot, have legislators asked voters for free reign to ruin the country and its strong moral history through the aggressive promotion of widespread debauchery and life-wrecking dependency – that is not what’s happening here

Legislators are making changes to marijuana law at the state level so that good and decent citizens can respectfully follow those laws without the terrible threat of incarceration or harassment. These people don’t want to be thrown in cages or lose their freedom for ingesting plant matter as responsible adults. They pay hefty taxes at the counter to purchase and consume the product. And according to voters in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana and California – they should be able to do so without facing criminal and/or civil penalties.

In closing, Mr. Sessions says good people don’t smoke marijuana and I say there is some shit we will not eat. Until next week, I sing of Olaf glad and big.

Jennifer Knight is a freelance writer, thanks in no small part to her day job at Durango Solar Works. (nifferjenn@gmail.com)Roldo is an Underground cartoonist, recently unretired.