It appears there are at least two requirements to serve in Donald Trump’s administration, and either one would result in immediate termination if there was anything normal about America’s new and “great” government. Obviously one of the primary requirements is lying, often times just for the sake of lying or to make up “facts” to either support some kind of untoward action like taking something away from Americans or to justify imposing a religious edict. The other requirement is having a connection, likely a financial connection, to Russia; more on that in another column particularly after revelations that Sessions fulfilled the Russian connection requirement.
What makes lying to impose a religious-based edict particularly egregious in this particular instance is that the specific lie is meant to sate Republicans other need; making Americans suffer. It is true Republicans seemingly revel in making people suffer, but especially Americans who are already suffering ill-health whether it is an infirmity or debilitating injury. On Tuesday when Trump’s religious attorney general and head of the Department of Justice, ‘Sermon’ Sessions, stood in front of several state attorneys general to fear monger about the non-existent dangers of legal marijuana, he told so many easily disproved lies that even a Trump-era journalist was taken aback.
Sessions told the assembled states’ top law enforcement officers that in states where voters approved legalizing the use of recreational marijuana that voters were responsible for a horrendous spike in violence, more young people were smoking bud, and that he was sick and tired of reading and hearing about cannabis’ being an effective means of reducing opioid use, addiction, and deaths. Sessions even had the temerity to tell the governors that he knew all those facts were like utterances from his god because “some experts” told him they were true.
Being a dandy Trump-inspired liar, it was not shocking that “Sermon” didn’t say whom all those experts were because they don’t exist. However, no-one in their right mind should be surprised that Sessions pulled “expert” testimony out of his bag of lies and ignorance because barely a month ago he pulled another “factoid” out of his ass and proclaimed that the religious clauses in the 1st Amendment were not only “unhistorical,” he stated matter-of-factly and with great conviction that those religious clauses created by the Constitution’s framers and Founding Fathers were patently unconstitutional.
What is patently false is everything Sessions said about voters legalizing marijuana for recreational use. As an aside, to go along with the pack of lies, Sessions had the temerity to tell the assembled attorneys general that if voters really wanted to change state laws decriminalizing marijuana use for recreation, then they should go the polls and vote to change the laws. Yes, he really said that as if the laws just fabricated themselves like Sessions fabricated “expert” testimony about the non-existent increased violence because weed is legal.
First, there has not been a spike in violence associated with legalized weed because being strictly regulated, and legally available, there is no further use for the criminal element to distribute the reefer. It was the same circumstances as after prohibition was repealed; the mafia lost their “market” and shifted their focus to seriously devastating hard narcotics like cocaine and heroin. Plus, the few states that have legalized marijuana have had a significant impact on drug cartels’ business of bringing the weed across the border to sell on the streets because there were no other ‘distributors’ available. Look, even an idiot comprehends that if a user can go to the dispensary and legally buy bud; why would they even consider going to “criminals” who have no reason, and no more market to sell their product? One of the selling points and benefits of legalizing the weed for recreational use was specifically to eliminate the criminal element from the equation and eliminate the need for marijuana “dealers.”
Sessions also lied and said that since decriminalizing the weed, the states that did so have seen an alarming spike in teens using marijuana; as if 12-year olds kids are waltzing into dispensaries and buying bud. Every state that decriminalized reefer has very strict rules on who can purchase the weed including being over the age of 21 years, and then only with currently valid identification like a driver’s license. As far as the “experts” Sessions failed to cite on this lie, since he specifically cited the state of Colorado, two years’ worth of statistics show that marijuana use among teens and young adults has declined by a whopping 21 percent. That is a damn sight contrary to an alarming spike in weed use by teens and young adults and easily verifiable if Sermon Sessions wasn’t so busy preaching Hellfire and brimstone about the dangers of recreational, and legal, marijuana use.
As if those easily debunked lies weren’t bad enough, Sessions made a specific point of lying about marijuana being valuable to combat the deadly opioid scourge plaguing the nation. He said that he read about it in the 1980’s and read it again just recently in the Washington Post; he said it was just not true.
There are studies after reports after statistics and even more reports proving that yes indeed, marijuana is extremely valuable and effective in fighting the opioid epidemic including addiction, traffic fatalities, and deadly overdoses just to name a few. What would have been responsible was for Sessions to cite his “expert” witness’ testimony that marijuana is not, and cannot, have an impact on reducing the myriad problems associated with a legal narcotic ten thousand times more dangerous than weed will ever be.
It is apparent that Sessions’ sermon about the non-existent dangers of voters decriminalizing recreational marijuana is most certainly driven by his evangelicalism, and his need to pander to the pharmaceutical industry that cannot stand the idea that a common weed is combatting their highly-profitable opioid business. His veiled threat to use the DOJ to pursue and punish states that decriminalized the weed is contrary to his and Republicans claim that states have the right to make their own laws, especially if they suppress minority votes and impose religion. What is also apparent is that there is a reason he supported Trump from the beginning; they are both liars and both fake Christians according to the Pope. Because no real Christian would fearmonger and lie to take something from Americans that is proven to relieve their suffering.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.