Ever since Donald Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General, the regressively thinking Southerner has attempted to demonize cannabis at every turn. From vaguely threatening to crack down on the recreational market to equating cannabis use to heroin addiction, the former Alabama Senator has tirelessly tried to conjure up the antiquated spirit of Reefer Madness.
But just like overcooked spaghetti, none of the rhetoric that Sessions is throwing out seems to be sticking to the wall, leaving him “surprised” by the public backlash that has resulted from his anti-cannabis stance.
Now, instead of attacking marijuana directly, the attorney general’s new strategy seems to be tying the plant in with violent crime. The Trump administration has circumvented their unpopular disdain for cannabis by focusing on busting drug cartels instead of the legal market.
On Tuesday, during a crime committee meeting, Sessions started beating the anti-pot drum once again, claiming that marijuana plays a significant part in the success of international criminal organizations. The attorney general stated that there’s a vast amount of violence around “marijuana distribution networks,” including around the Washington, D.C. area.
“We [did] have quite a bit of marijuana being imported by the cartels from Mexico. This is definitely a cartel-sponsored event,” Sessions said at the meeting. “So it is a financial money-maker for them. I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border.”
Sessions went on to state that the Justice Department has “zero tolerance” for gang violence from groups like MS-13, which he believes are thriving thanks to black market cannabis. Trump has recently used this ruthless gang, which is primarily comprised of Central Americans, as an example to justify his harsh anti-immigration stance.
The AG's comments come just a few days after Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly admitted that marijuana doesn't play a vital role in international drug trafficking. He claimed that the primary drugs flooding over the nation’s border are methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.
Kelly's remarks seem to be in direct contradiction to Sessions’, who seems to have a hard-on for continuing to criminalize cannabis despite the hefty amount of Americans supporting legalization. While his focus has slightly shifted towards violent crime in more recent days, the U.S. Attorney General is clearly still fixated on criminalizing marijuana in any way that he can.