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AG Sessions’ move, while despicable, isn’t the real problem

In the last post, Sessions’ Justice Department goes all-in on sentencing, we learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has mandated a revival of the discredited “tough-on-crime” charging and sentencing approaches.

And, as comforting as it is to blame Sessions, there’s a more important point.

Sessions is only able to do this because horrendous laws exist.

For us, there’s no doubt that it’s easier to complain about the actions of an administration that goes all-out in the enforcement of unjust laws, or a Supreme Court that refuses to override unjust laws. But the reality is that the best way to prevent them is to eliminate (or prevent the passing of) the laws themselves. And that, unfortunately, involves the messy self-serving chaos that is Congress.

Fortunately, we’re making progress. It used to be that any Congressperson could bolster their reelection efforts by proposing the expansion of criminal laws or adding new sentencing enhancements. We’re finally getting to the point where that’s not automatic. We need to get to the point where a representative will actually lose support by considering such a thing, and get ridiculed on the floor of Congress.

While Congress has not yet succeeded in passing significant sentencing reform (it’s always harder to remove bad laws than to pass them), the reaction to Sessions’ proclamation is heartening.

If you have not yet subscribed to Tom Angell’s excellent Marijuana Moment newsletter, you really should do so. In today’s issue, he includes a powerhouse of reactions.

A number of members of Congress criticized the new U.S. Department of Justice drug prosecution policy:
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “Mandatory minimum sentences have unfairly and disproportionately incarcerated too many minorities for too long. Attorney General Sessions’ new policy will accentuate that injustice.”
https://www.paul.senate.gov/news/press/dr-rand-paul-releases-statement-on-attorney-generals-action-on-mandatory-minimums

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): “The Attorney General’s new sentencing policy is an ideologically motivated attempt to resurrect the failed policies of the War on Drugs. Make no mistake, low-level offenders will spend years and even decades more in prison. This will not make us safer — quite the opposite, it will strip critical public safety resources away from targeting truly violent criminals in order to house nonviolent drug offenders.”
https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/comment-of-senator-patrick-leahy-d-vt-judiciary-committee-member-and-appropriations-committee-vice-chairman-on-attorney-general-sessions-new-sentencing-policy

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): “This policy shift flies in the face of the growing bipartisan consensus that we need to reduce—not increase—the length of prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. It will send already skyrocketing prison costs even higher, undermining other important public safety priorities and separating nonviolent drug offenders from their families for years, which has a destructive effect on communities and erodes faith in our criminal justice system.”
https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-statement-on-ag-sessions-move-to-force-needlessly-harsh-prison-sentences-for-nonviolent-drug-offenses

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT): “To be tough on crime we have to be smart on crime. That is why criminal justice reform is a conservative issue.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): “Jeff Sessions wants to turn back the clock on the progress we’ve made on sentencing reform—and we must speak out against it.”

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX): “Trump/Sessions: Let’s double down on failed strategy, add to highest incarceration rate in the world. America: Let’s end the war on drugs.”
https://twitter.com/BetoORourke/status/863040937894838272 https://twitter.com/BetoORourke/status/863041181609074688

Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI): “Let’s pass criminal justice reform to put an end to this unjust, ineffective, and costly policy.”

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN): “Sessions’ memorandum is a return to the failed policies of the War on Drugs. It is bad for our communities, and utterly destructive for low-level, non-violent drug offenders. The only people who benefit from these laws are those who have a financial stake in imprisonment: the private prison industry and vendors to the public system.”
https://ellison.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-ellison-statement-on-harmful-department-of-justice-sentencing

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN): ” Harsher sentences for non-violent drug crimes cost taxpayers more money and waste limited resources that are needed to go after more dangerous, violent offenders who put the public at risk. The beneficiaries of these policies are often private prisons who profit from locking up more inmates, disproportionately affecting people of color.”
https://cohen.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/cohen-s-statement-doj-s-new-guidelines-charging-and-sentencing-criminal

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC): “Will fight AG Sessions’ effort to revive failed War on Drugs. Mass incarceration has destroyed lives & devastated our minority communities.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA): “As President Trump distracts with outlandish threats, AG Sessions quietly brings back the harshest sentences of the failed War on Drugs.”

There may be some hope in that domed building in Washington, DC. We need to keep applying the pressure to our representatives that sentencing reform, not sentencing enhancement is what is needed to fix our broken criminal justice system.

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36 comments to AG Sessions’ move, while despicable, isn’t the real problem

  • Return discretion to our Judges. Minimum Mandatory sentences should be abolished in favor of judicial discretion.

    Removing judicial discretion by introducing mandatory minimum sentences was, and still is, a drug war tactic. It was meant to permanently (almost) deal with the excessive amounts of minor drug offenses caused by prohibition and the drug war. Ending minimum sentences will go a long way in the reform of sentencing. So will removing cannabis from the schedule of controlled drugs. Really ending the drug war is what is needed.

    It takes a congress, not a village, to eradicate this problem.

    • It doesn’t take a Richard Nixon clone and an overly white Attorney General in Washington to do it either.

      It takes compassion and some unity from a congress willing to dedicate itself to the betterment of its citizens and an approach to doing things that includes the idea of harm reduction.

      • claygooding

        I noticed a group of federal prosecutors have come out against ramping up the drug war again,,waiting for the axe to fall on them for it now.

        And over 2000 attorneys have signed a petition to have Session disbarred.

        We can always hope.

  • DdC

    Cali AG Stands Up to U.S AG
    http://marijuanastocks.com/cali-ag-stands-up-to-u-s-ag/

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra spoke out yesterday and said that he does not plan to let the new White House administration interfere with the state’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana. This program is expected to get started in January 2019 after the November 2016 ballot initiative passed overwhelmingly.

    Politico reported this announcement and we find it significant as it comes at a crucial time for the United States legal cannabis industry.

    Becerra said, “I would love to see Jeff Sessions come to California and tell us we’re not going to move forward on cannabis. Something tells me, that it’s not going to happen. I’ll probably be the one millionth person in line to fight Jeff Sessions on that.”

    The Cannabis Train Cannot Re-Route
    The United States cannabis industry is at a crossroads and it has moved too far forward to try to pull it back now. We do not expect the war on cannabis to continue much longer as it does not make economic sense.

    Not only would the shut down of this industry cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but it would also but a couple hundred thousand people out of work. The cannabis train has left the station and it would cost a lot of money to try and re-route this freight train.

    Jeff Sessions Just Fired the First Shot in Trump’s War on Drugs

    “We are returning to the enforcement of the laws as passed by Congress, plain and simple,” Sessions said earlier today. “If you are a drug trafficker, we will not look the other way, we will not be willfully blind to your misconduct.”

    Sessions did not clarify if he intended to lump state-legalized cannabis industries together with other drug traffickers. So far, he has offered nothing but mixed messages on the Trump administration’s cannabis stance. But by stressing the importance of applying federal law consistently, the Sessions Memo has ramped up concerns that the attorney general will begin enforcing federal cannabis prohibition once again.

    What it means to be a good cop “Neill Franklin

    In honor of National Police Week, kicking off today, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good cop. To me, and to all of us at the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, policing is a deeply important responsibility. At its core, policing should be all about being a good guardian of the people, being a part of the community you serve, and keeping your neighbors and your fellow officers safe.

    Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” for people charged with drug offenses, overturning a directive by former Attorney General Eric Holder to avoid seeking harsh mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level drug offenses. These actions will entrench us further into the War on Drugs, and deeper into an already-catastrophic incarceration system. They will destroy lives, and put more of a strain police-community relations.

    Because of these sorts of policies, some communities no longer view the police as trusted protectors, people to turn to in times of trouble. Instead, there’s an “us vs. them” mindset which endangers both communities and officers.

    We believe with being a police officer comes the responsibility to speak up for what’s right. To stand for public safety, and rebuild the trust between police and community that the War on Drugs and other bad policies have fractured so severely. To believe in what it means to protect and serve.

    Criminal justice and drug policy reform are crucial in many ways, and attempts to slow progress of those reforms are bad for both the community and the police. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate and support the police officers who represent LEAP. They’re leading the charge to rebuild police-community relations and bring policing back to what it should be about: the people. Ultimately, that is what it means to be a “good cop:” helping people, keeping communities safer, leading with integrity.

    I believe in LEAP’s work, and I know that it’s needed now more than ever.

    With your help, we can restore trust between the police and their communities.
    In solidarity,

    Major Neill Franklin (Ret.)
    Executive Director

    Joe McNamara RIP, was a former police chief in Kansas City, Mo. and San Jose, Ca.. He held a doctorate in public administration and was a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

    When policemen break the law,
    then there isn’t any law – just a fight for survival.
    ~ Billy Jack, 1971

  • Servetus

    A journey back to the 1950s with General Beauregard Sessions as a Confederate cavalry officer is bad scripting even for Hollywood. The man chases fantasies.

    An Attorney General can instruct Deputy Attorney Generals to seek draconian penalties, but it doesn’t mean they will all do it. Especially if they fear outraging a community as ex-DAG Melinda Haag did in Oakland, California. Should Session’s agenda show up it can be spotted and a depose-the-tyrant type of counter-offensive can be launched, hopefully with some help from local political representatives.

    Reactionaries such as Sessions typically follow an authoritarian path. Having lost their precious drug war, their current behavior makes them predictable, more prone to error, and more easily deposed.

    • DdC

      The Raid on WAMM
      http://www.beyondthc.com/the-raid-on-wamm/
      On the morning of September 5, 2002, United States government agents raided the garden cultivated by members of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana and arrested WAMM leader Valerie Corral and her husband Mike.

      As word spread through the community, distraught WAMM members headed for the Corrals’ land, which is at the end of a mile-long driveway on a steep hillside about 15 miles north of Santa Cruz. They padlocked a gate through which the raiders would have to pass on their way out, and parked two vehicles across the driveway for good measure. The DEA agents called the Santa Cruz County Sheriff to facilitate their exit

      Two deputies arrived in the late morning and were able to reach Valerie at the Federal Courthouse in San Jose, where she was told that she and Mike would be released immediately if she’d instruct her friends to let the raiders depart. She did so, and within five minutes the road was cleared and the government convoy —five big, tan SUVs and two 13’ U-Haul trucks— rolled past the WAMM members, who cried “Shame on you!” and “Terrorists!”

      WAMM
      https://wamm.org/

  • claygooding

    A vast majority of the violence in the drug market is perpetrated by two groups and legalization removes both from the drug market.

    Most of the tax dollars spent fighting drugs is spent arresting and incarcerating users,,the non-violent people involved in the drug market.

  • Mr_Alex

    @DdC

    By any chance are you familiar with Dr David Bearman, last Thursday, I managed to attend a talk at the Biz Dojo in Wellington, New Zealand, there has never been any feeling of complete vindication when he confirmed my suspicion that Cannabis is indeed a viable treatment for Autism

    https://www.facebook.com/SciComFilms/videos/1525664050818367/

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/92674696/expert-calls-for-government-to-stop-lying-about-cannabis

    • NorCalNative

      Mr_Alex, I’m familiar with Dr. Bearman. He teaches the first course of the 13-course program on cannabis education offered to medical professionals through “The Medical Cannabis Institute.”

      His knowledge and grasp of cannabis and cannabis history is outstanding. A really great source of info. He’s a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians and their website and/or twitter is also a good source.

    • DdC

      How many will suffer over vindication rather than use it? As previously noted. The CSA is bogus. Anecdotal still has medical records of the patient using, and conditions recorded. The people who find relief made a choice to deal with it over being politically correct or even risking jail time. In the end we will be vindicated. Until then we will treat the patients with what is best for them. Ganja is usually the right choice. When it isn’t it doesn’t leave dead human Guinea Pigs.

      Jeffrey’s Journey
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/396

      Cannabis Treatment For Autism
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/855

      Pediatricians Demand DEA Reclassify Cannabis
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/954

      Ganjawar in Everything
      http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/topic/1645

  • Here is a Q&A with Willie Nelson about Jeff Sessions in Rolling Stone. He hit the nail on the head here.

    Interviewer:
    “Jeff Sessions recently said that pot is “only slightly less awful” than heroin.” –

    Willie: “I wonder if he’s tried both of them. I don’t think you can really make a statement like that unless you tried it all. So I’d like to suggest to Jeff to try it and then let me know later if he thinks he’s still telling the truth!” …
    https://tinyurl.com/kspj5l9

    • DdC

      Peter Dunne
      https://norml.org.nz/tag/peter-dunne/

      Medical Cannabis “review” has failed to protect patients says NORML

      Have you seen the bigger piggies
      In their starched white shirts
      You will find the bigger piggies
      Stirring up the dirt
      Always have clean shirts to play around in.

      • Mr_Alex

        @DdC

        You know Peter Dunne tried to discredit Dr David Bearman as well?:

        Expert calls for government to stop ‘lying’ about cannabis

        The New Zealand government should stop “lying” to its people over medicinal cannabis, a visiting doctor says.

        United States physician Dr David Bearman, who specialises in medicinal cannabis effects and pain relief, said Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne needed some remedial education on cannabis.

        “And he needs to stop talking out of both sides of his mouth. I don’t see how on the one hand, he can say there’s no evidence that cannabis is medicine and then on the other hand approve Sativex, which is tincture of cannabis — it’s liquid cannabis.”

        However, Dunne said Bearman’s comments were inaccurate, ignorant, abusive and ill-informed.

        “As such they are neither worth commenting upon further, nor taking in any way seriously.”

        Bearman said the people of New Zealand “need to understand that its government has been lying to them”.

        “Much the same as the US government has lied to the Americans. But fortunately for us, since 1997 we have been able to get more physicians to understand cannabis and the endocannabinoid system and help millions of people with a broad spectrum of diseases.”

        Bearman was in Nelson on Saturday and Golden Bay on Monday with his talk, “Medicinal Use of Cannabis, What can New Zealand Learn?”

        Over 300 people in total attended the events in the Boathouse and Golden Bay Community Centre.

        He also made a presentation in Wellington and Christchurch, and at the Christchurch hospital’s grand rounds.

        The expert speaker and author has treated thousands of people with medicinal cannabis in California for a wide-range of conditions.

        He has also made hundreds of presentations to professional and lay audiences on medical marijuana, drug abuse treatment and prevention, and the origins of American drug policy.

        It was critical New Zealand medical practitioners were educated on the the body’s largest neurotransmitter system — the endocannabinoid system.

        “In the States, only 13 per cent of medical schools teach about the endocannabinoid system. I would like to see all the medical schools in New Zealand institute a course on it.”

        The endocannabinoid system was important in terms of homeostasis, regulating our bodies and keeping us healthy.

        He said the cannabis plant was so helpful because it slowed down the speed of neurotransmission, or the transfer of impulses between neurons.

        “You can see how this would be helpful with migraine headaches, which is uncontrolled electrical stimulation of neurons in a specific area of the brain, and seizures is even more so. If you can slow that down, you can in many cases stop the migraine, and you can decrease the frequency and maybe eliminate seizures entirely.”

        There was a lot of science-based evidence and clinical evidence that cannabis was helpful in treating ulcerative colitis, a serious disease that often involves a partial removal of the bowel.

        Bearman said cannabis has been used as a medicine for over 4000 years and has been listed in every Materia Medica ever written.

        Hemp was also once the most profitable plant in the world, and the war on drugs was “all about money”.

        “The drug war has been an abysmal failure at an awful cost to the taxpayer and even greater cost to human life. And as a physician I would say — to human health.”

        He said the New Zealand government should start treating cannabis in reasonable way and stop forcing people to use a drug that costs $1400 a month.

        “We should treat cannabis how we would treat any other medicine, and treat prescription medicines with the same aggressive scepticism that some of the authorities are treating cannabis,” he said.

        “I can’t tell you the amount of people I have treated who were getting lists of drugs as long as my arm and they have all said, ‘this has turned me into a zombie; and cannabis has helped me.'”

        – Stuff.co.nz

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/92674696/expert-calls-for-government-to-stop-lying-about-cannabis

      • NorCalNative

        DdC

        “In the States, only 13% of medical schools teach about the endocannabinoid system. I would like to see all the medical schools in New Zealand institute a course on it.” Dr. Bearman

        Quiz time dude. Where do you suppose that little piece of knowledge came to him from? It came from a paper based on interviews that you’ve linked to several times.

        I believe you were the infectious agent in the passing of this important and interesting information.

        Didn’t you make a comment about this on the Thom Hartman show website? I seem to recall it was that particular link that was at one time featured on The Medical Cannabis Institute website, but my memory may not be accurate.

        Refresh my memory if you would. Thanks.

        • DdC

          “In the States, only 13% of medical schools teach about the endocannabinoid system.

          I would like to see all the medical schools in New Zealand institute a course on it.”
          Dr. Bearman

          Me too, but only 13% “mention” the ECS, no one teaches it in the University System according to the survey.

          Quiz time dude

          Maybe, or academia passed the actual survey around. I think its an important point after a so called “expert” spouts off on a TV show or article.

          Was Cannabis the Real Reason Britain Colonised Australia?

          Learn all about Sydney’s Hemp Health & Innovation Expo 2017,
          the biggest Aussie event of its kind

          ☛ No medical schools have a department of
          endocannabinoid science or an ECS director.
          http://endingcannabisprohibition.yuku.com/sreply/937
          None of them taught the endocannabinoid science as an organized course. Only 13% of the medical schools surveyed mention the endocannabinoid science to our future doctors

        • NorCalNative

          …or academia passed the actual survey around…

          Or I did in an e-mail to the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. The current President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, Dr. Hergenrather consulted with me on my dad’s use of cannabis oil for his prostate cancer. Over a few weeks I had several e-mail contacts from this group of doctors.

          I know for a fact I blabbed about the 13% number in an e-mail to them. Since they’re the same people who put The Medical Cannabis Institute together, and the fact that “your” linkage appeared on their website (within a few days of my e-mail) in the news section, leads me to believe that Dr. Bearman picked up this info from the website he was a part of as an instructor.

          You’re not the original source of this info, but I’d bet my weed stash that the timing fits and that Dr. Bearman likely became aware of this through your efforts first, and then mine through e-mail and/or The Medical Cannabis Institute.

          As you may recall, this link spurred me to play at medical school. My study on the ECS changed me.

          You link so copiously, that perhaps this is no big deal to you, but I think it’s pretty effing cool. Also agree that technically, Dr. Bearman is incorrect but the idea that more education is needed on cannabis and the ECS is certainly NOT. That was really his point, that docs need to learn this.

          My point is that the couch played a small role in Dr. Bearman’s lecture in New Zealand. We’re MORE than just a bunch of stoned observers bitching about prohibition.

        • DdC

          I’ve included the link in several posts where ever I happen to land on a particular occasion. Not much argument left, just clown trolls making idiots of themselves. Turning threads into ammo dumps of info. Silencing the gossip with the blub blub blub far distant sounds of drowning ignorance. Cops & Freepers used to flat out deny it as if it were an unarguable universal law. Now we can direct them to a store that sells it. We aren’t the only ones passing the info and I think, like with Vietnam. The moms who have been sacrificing their kids to the drug war are finding it harder to just go along with government gossip the kids joke about. But in order for them to know the couch has provided a means.

          When they can easily google or Erowid and tell the difference between hype and just a matter of fact. Its always been as simple as Ganja is or it ain’t. it stops seizures and pain or it doesn’t. If it ain’t then why do millions say it is and less pharm aids are used and symptoms subside… and if it is safer, as millions more are saying it is. Then it is a matter of time before it all falls down. Or a sparkly object will divert our attention and let the ooze spread. Like Watergate did for the CSA imho. I guess it depends on what is, is. sorry.

          I am but a link in a very large and growing chain. Wrapped around the neck of those who would oppress anyone for using a plant over synthetics and side effects. The same as anyone else here or in positions to make change. The truth was always the answer and the most difficult to give to the people. Plus the personal right of not going to a cage or unemployment line for a personal choice proving to be what has been said for half a century.

          There is a long line of good people, even professionals through the decades fighting their own systems bravely for the right reasons. Persecuted or taking less to avoid the hurdles of Reagans piss tasting industry weeding out people with stupid piss failing to make the grade A smart piss list.

          The real experts growing it and breeding it and dispensing it through out the decades. And the stoners who have kept it from extinction. Thanks bro, ideas can be contagious and dangerous, without doing a back flip on a dirt bike. As for recognition, I am a proud stoner and have no apologies for being a stoner. If the ignorant masses ever decide to get real and stop believing government gossip. I have never taken the importance of the couch to spread the word to the people for granted. Or have I ever thought of anyone here as “just” a stoner. I believe to be a true stoner it takes integrity, guts and fortitude to stay for the long haul, as many of us have done. I do believe each person contributing is the reason we are progressing and most aren’t in it for credit or fame. I just don’t like it when people bullshit me, especially those I pay taxes to.

  • “Two Coloradans in the House of Representatives, Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman, introduced a bill today, May 18, that would protect states with legal marijuana from the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress.”

    “The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act of 2017 would prohibit Congress from suing or ordering raids on recreational and medical marijuana retailers and producers.”
    https://tinyurl.com/loxralo

    I think this is great.

    I also think this Congress needs to grow some and just remove marijuana from the CSA which would also handle this problem quite nicely and keep the DEA far away – just like this bill wants to do.

  • DdC

    Ganja Sanctuary States

    AB-1578 (2017-2018)

    This bill would prohibit a state or local agency, as defined, from taking certain actions without a court order signed by a judge, including using agency money, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist a federal agency to investigate, detain, detect, report, or arrest a person for commercial or noncommercial marijuana or medical cannabis activity that is authorized by or allowed under state or local law in the State of California and from transferring an individual to federal law enforcement authorities for purposes of marijuana enforcement. or detaining an individual at the request of federal law enforcement or federal authorities for marijuana- or cannabis-related conduct that is legal under state or local law.

    Marijuana and cannabis programs:
    cooperation with federal authorities.

    Have you seen the little piggies
    Crawling in the dirt
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse
    Always having dirt to play around in.

    Like SB 54, AB 1578 has raised concerns among law enforcement groups, which argue that local and federal authorities need to work together for public safety and shouldn’t be overly restrained in their communications.

    California’s Officials Criticize ‘Stupid’ U.S. Drug Crackdown

    Have you seen the bigger piggies
    In their starched white shirts
    You will find the bigger piggies
    Stirring up the dirt
    Always have clean shirts to play around in.

    No Sanctuary for Marijuana in California
    It’s understandable that state lawmakers want to resist potential federal intervention. But a proposal to make California a so-called sanctuary state for marijuana is not the way to go.

    In their styes with all their backing
    They don’t care what goes on around
    In their eyes there’s something lacking
    What they need’s a damn good whacking.

    Bipartisan Group of Senators Push Back on Sessions
    Lawmakers Renew Push To End Federal Ban on MJ

    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
    Living piggy lives
    You can see them out for dinner
    With their piggy wives
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

    Policing for Profit
    How many “crimes” do Corporations Buy?

  • Head on a Stick

    Is it our Jeff?

    The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

    http://tinyurl.com/RuskyWAPObreaking

  • kaptinemo

    One salient characteristic of drug prohibition is one shared by the racism that drug prohibition is derived from: extremism. It requires a degree of not just blind faith but aggressive action in fomenting it and disseminating it. Sessions is illustrating this aspect perfectly. And it will be that same extremism that finally brings down both drug prohibition and its proponents.

    I’m sure that many here will recognize the term ‘healing crisis’: the period during a recovery from an illness when you feel the most toxic. In my opinion this is what drug law reform is currently undergoing, and Sessions is indicative of the point where the infection seems to gain strength just before it abates. Sessions reminds me of a pus-filled boil in his representing the absolute worst aspects of drug prohibition and its promoters.

    With Session’s selection as Attorney General, the toxic extremism is like a supperating sore, with poisonous necrotic products long held below the surface now starting to seep out into public view…in front of a public that has undergone a demographic sea-change and no longer believes the propaganda that Sessions and his ilk uncritically view as Gospel.

    I’ve written before many times about the ‘crazy uncles of prohibition’; Sessions has been given the benefit of the doubt and proved himself amongst the craziest of the lot. The push-back he is receiving in the form of legislators seeking to counter Federal moves against cannabis reform on the State level is not just guided by sheer Pavlovian political partisanship, but is representative of that generational zeitgeist manifesting among the voting electorate who’ve been changing the laws in favor of reform at almost every turn.

    The drug prohibition crazies think their time has come, and are shambling from their attics, tumbling down the stairs and out the open front door into the light of day, unselfconciously displaying with abandon manias that can clearly be seen for what they have always been, despite their slick protestations to the contrary. The extremism that Sessions exudes with every public pronouncement vis-a-vis maintaining the evident failure of drug prohibition is indicative of that mania being exposed.

    The more political pressure exerted on this particularly odious pustule, the sooner it will pop and finally drain. It can’t do anything else now…except explode.

    • NorCalNative

      kap, I’m a committed hedonist and your writing skills hit the spot. Always a tasty treat.

      • kaptinemo

        NorCal, I just ‘calls like I sees them’. It’s been reported several times that many of the prohibs still think alcohol Prohibition could have worked, despite the myriad examples of evidence it was doomed from the start. Such thinking can only be described as delusional at best, and barking mad at its worst.

        If madhouses have their own versions of ivory towers, the prohibs reside there. And I am not employing hyperbole; their own words supporting the often brutal and deadly excesses of the DrugWar as being acceptable ‘collateral damage’ damn them as lunatics. Very dangerous ones. Sessions is giving such people voice by saying the things he has.

        I’ve said this before, and warrants repeating: the drug prohibitionists want the people they don’t like to die. Recall when Bertha Madras, former #2 at ONDCP, was against giving police and first responders Naloxone to counteract potentially deadly drug overdoses; the rationale was that overdose deaths of illegal opiate users denied Naloxone would serve to ‘make examples’ of said consumers as a deterrent to others. Message sent, and received 5 by 5. The message, shorn of diplomatic language, was quite clear: DIE, DRUGGIES! The specific substance is of no consequence; it is the fact of illicit substance use that infuriates their faux moral souls. Who dream of ‘saving’ and ‘cleansing’ the ‘sinners’ the same way the Inquisition did, with fire.

        If that isn’t an example of madness, what will serve as a better one?

  • jean valjean

    “The drug prohibition crazies think their time has come, and are shambling from their attics, tumbling down the stairs and out the open front door into the light of day, unselfconciously displaying with abandon manias that can clearly be seen for what they have always been, despite their slick protestations to the contrary.”

    Thanks Kapt. Best chuckle of the day.

    • kaptinemo

      I should have wrote “Oblivious to that sea-change in the electorate – or typically contemptuous of it, as they are of all expressions of democracy – the drug prohibition crazies think their time has come…”

      It all goes back to the kind of authoritarian mindset that views one’s fellow citizens as mere pieces in a societal chessboard, with themselves as the players. It is a tacit, a priori form of elitism that seldom leads anywhere good for the intended recipients of their efforts, namely, you and me. They remind me of what Nietzsche said when he wrote:

      But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had – power.

      Sessions is a perfect example. He talks about justice but evidently he’s all about punishment. And he’s just been given the power his kind lust for.

      Ashcroft was bad enough with his statue-draping lunacy, but even he knew limits; Sessions will tip the scales clean over. But the excesses of extremism his views on drug prohibition require are already causing pre-emptive push-back. The forces of reform have had all the warning they need; to the battlements!

  • Servetus

    While AG Jeff Sessions is away in Washington, D.C., his home state of Alabama is undermining his judicial authority by doing something decent.

    ‘Moral turpitude’ is being re-defined in Alabama. The Definition of Moral Turpitude Act seeks to change the definition from that of violating community standards from every felony but five that include DUIs, to a definition that excludes about fifty. The move is intended to overcome voter disenfranchisement for thousands of Alabamans with felony criminal records.

    Moral turpitude laws originated in the US in the early 19th century, and are used to prevent people from voting, and to regulate entry of foreign visitors and immigrants. That is why visa waiver applications ask the following question on document I-94W, Visa Waiver Program:

    “Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?”

    Community standards tend to vary from one state or community to another. Yet the application of village or fiefdom-based moral standards to uncontrolled substances results in unjustified disenfranchisement nationally and internationally for millions. Moral turpitude laws are a socially destructive aspect of drug wars. Ending the drug war universally will require taking an example from Alabama’s more humane treatment of its citizens.

    https://www.vera.org/blog/alabama-poised-to-restore-voting-rights-for-thousands-with-felony-convictions

    • jean valjean

      I’m sure Jeff Sessions will be big on the Moral Turpitude front, after all “good people don’t smoke marijuana…”
      Also I-94 asks visitors to the U.S. if they took part in the holocaust…. I suppose some 95 year old visitors might answer yes to that?

      • “The more political pressure exerted on this particularly odious pustule, the sooner it will pop and finally drain. It can’t do anything else now…except explode.” -kaptinemo

        I just want to be there to see Jeff Sessions when he explodes. The graphic mental representations on this thought are very entertaining.

  • Found some interesting info-graphics:

    Gun death compared to phama drugs
    https://t.co/lzsdE9TZLH

    Epidemic of psychiatric drugging of US soldiers
    https://t.co/OyupNHdyNj

    How they turn a CORPORATE LIE into a SCIENCE FACT
    https://t.co/TZdHDzmsj1

  • Mr_Alex

    @DdC and Kaptinemo

    Have you seen this Facebook page called Straight Inc, its being done by a Straight Inc survivor, the horrors of Straight Inc is being done into comic form:

    https://www.facebook.com/straight.inc.comic/

  • DdC

    The End Is Nigh

    Televangelist Pat Robertson slams Sessions’s drug war memo
    http://eepurl.com/cPbSTv

    Saved from ruin? not on my watch!
    ~ Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

    5 towns saved from ruin by the booming legal weed industry

    Life-Line to Kick Hard Drugs?
    Taking pharma and rehab profits and informants.

    Cannabis As Life-Line to Kick Hard Drugs

    How Many Prescriptions Are Replaced by Cannabis?
    Canada Study Explores an Answer

    Southern California D.A. Admits Jailhouse Snitches Are ‘Probably’ Liars

  • Head on a Stick

    Barnaby Min, Miami’s deputy city attorney who recently compared cannabis to Pedophilia, was cited for sexual harassment in 2011.

    Min himself was caught sexually harassing a female city auditor by emailing her the word “penis” multiple times in 2011, according to emails New Times obtained via a records request. Yet he kept his job as the city’s then-zoning administrator and later rose through the ranks in the city attorney’s office. The previously unreported case calls into question whether Min should be the person making decisions about whether children with cancer or elderly Alzheimer’s patients are able to receive medicine.

    http://tinyurl.com/POSmin