On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, America’s cheerful white-hooded Smeagol, was in Memphis selling his vision of the country as a violent wasteland beset by ruthless criminals and mindless gang members preying on helpless innocents.
Speaking to an appreciative audience of about 100 law-enforcement officers—the likes of whom have been “under siege” in the United States in recent years, according to Congressman David Kustoff, a former local federal prosecutor—Sessions reiterated his tough-on-crime, more-is-less solution.
The only hope for civilization in our time is more mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, locking more people up for longer periods of time.
“The more [murderers] we prosecute, convict and put in prison, the fewer murders we will have,” Sessions reasoned, deploying logic no Socrates could question and giving lawmen and lawyers the power to do it, without bothering with “civil rights” or “due process” or other concerns of the nation’s cucks.
As Sessions spoke, a large crowd gathered outside, calling for the attorney general to resign, retreat or otherwise stop making things worse. In Memphis, 52 percent of the citizenry is black, yet black people comprise 87 percent of the local jail population in Shelby County.
Sessions wrapped up by calling—without irony—for “people of goodwill” to step up and “heal the wounds… of broken homes and missing fathers.” Hopefully there will be visitation rights in Camp Sessions, and police will be available to drop the new inmates kids’ off at school.
But back to weed.
Since instilling The Fear into the country’s fledgling-yet-insanely profitable marijuana industry immediately after taking office in January, Sessions hasn’t said much on marijuana. And according to a copy of his prepared remarks posted to the Justice Department website, he wasn’t planning to mention anything related to cannabis legalization on Thursday.
Perhaps inspired by Memphis’s abortive attempt at marijuana reform—Memphis was one of the two Tennessee cities where locally-approved marijuana decriminalization was undone by state lawmakers; as it happens, the vast majority of people arrested for marijuana possession in Memphis are black—Sessions went off-book in order to complain about the country’s headspace.
“There’s been too much legalization talk,” he said, “and not enough prevention talk.”
This isn’t how someone in the lead behaves. This is the tone adopted when you complain about the rules or blame it all on the referees—this is a loser talking. Because, at least so far, Sessions is losing—and his vision of a world in which all marijuana smokers rot in perdition is vanishing rapidly.
Across the country, state lawmakers—including Republicans—are spending more time talking about legalization than they are about fulfilling Sessions’ barren fantasy. And with every passing day, the likelihood of a crackdown becomes more remote.
We still don’t know what the Trump administration plans to do about cannabis—which, as you recall, Sessions doesn’t like, except as a tool to marginalize certain people and remove their ability to vote and get a job—though we know it won’t be friendly. As the Los Angeles Times noted, elected officials are moving to get ahead of any Trump administration crack-down before it can happen.
States are rushing to start taxed-and-regulated sales—which could begin as early as July in Nevada, where the governor is a Republican and has given the local marijuana industry assurances of support—and lawmakers are setting up tricks to thwart the feds should they arrive.
California is mulling prohibitions giving federal drug agents assistance from local cops, and Colorado is allowing dispensaries selling recreational weed to immediately declare that the weed is in fact medical (and thus subject to Congress’s renewed ban on Justice Department-led medical cannabis crackdowns).
Sessions hates weed, and it’s probably safe to assume he doesn’t think highly of the people who smoke it. But whether he can do anything about it is increasingly doubtful.
On the same day he conjured up visions of prison planets for a roomful of cops, Sessions issued a statement in which he promised to defend Trump’s executive order on immigration, dismissed by yet another federal appeals court, in an appeal to the Supreme Court. This was after he’d claimed that he neglected to disclose two meetings with Russian officials last year—as he is required by law to do—because that’s what he was “instructed” to do.
We’re not saying Sessions doesn’t present a profound threat.
Sessions has proven time and again willing to use the power of his office to disrupt the democratic process and to relieve powerful figures who are his friends—like the president—from the strictures of the law. These are the actions of a would-be totalitarian. They are warnings and must not be taken lightly.
But frustrated people act a certain way. They lash out, they issue threats they fail to back up. They act a lot like Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
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