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Senator Jeff Sessions For Attorney General


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One of the consequences for voting Republican. Can't say we didn't warn everyone about that. This is on everyone who didn't help it NOT happen. I will share in the suffering you caused. Thanks for nothing. Don't pretend to be a cannabis advocate if you were part of the problem creating this scenario. 

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real question is why would a new york elitist like trump pick a jackass like sessions?

 

nevermind, he was AG of alabama and appointed by ronnie raygun to be the southern distrct federal AG.

 

makes more sense now.

Edited by bax
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real question is why would a new york elitist like trump pick a jackass like sessions?

 

nevermind, he was AG of alabama and appointed by ronnie raygun to be the southern distrct federal AG.

 

makes more sense now.

Because Sessions was the only R that would support him in the beginning of the campaign. It was the first RED FLAG for a cannabis advocate.

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I am not sure they can put this back in the bottle now, only six states left with no form of cannabis laws other than prohibition. There are a couple southern republicans that do support cannabis reform, even though I cannot remember their names now, was reading about it somewhere lately. I do not like that Sessions is going to be appointed AG, but it is what it is....... time will tell.

                                      Farmer Brown

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'Member when we passed medical marihuana in Michigan in 1979? I 'member.

 

"In 1978, New Mexico passed the first state law recognizing the medical value of marijuana [Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act]. Over the next few years, more than 30 states passed similar legislation."       

 

 

And how did that work out?

 

Bottle. Meet Genie.

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Honestly, I do not think they can stop it.  I just KNOW they can arrest a million people a year easily and increase penalties for said crimes and increase prosecutions of said crimes and reinstate mandatory minimums and.... and... stuff the judiciary full of even more anti drug zealots,.... and... and...

 

 

 

 Have people already forgotten how this works?

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Sessions is worse....

 

'member?... I 'member.

 

 

 

“I’m a big fan of the DEA,” said Sessions, before asking Leonhart point blank if she would fight medical marijuana legalization.

“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people, I have seen the abuse, I have seen what it’s done to families. It’s bad,” Leonhart said. “If confirmed as administrator, we would continue to enforce the federal drug laws.”

“These legalization efforts sound good to people,” Sessions quipped. “They say, ‘We could just end the problem of drugs if we could just make it legal.’ But any country that’s tried that, Alaska and other places have tried it, have failed. It does not work,” Sessions said.

“We need people who are willing to say that. Are you willing to say that?” Sessions asked Leonhart.

“Yes, I’ve said that, senator. You’re absolutely correct [about] the social costs from drug abuse, especially from marijuana,” Leonhart said. “Legalizers say it will help the Mexican cartel situation; it won’t. It will allow states to balance budgets; it won’t. No one is looking [at] the social costs of legalizing drugs.”

 

 

 

Jeff Sessions: Marijuana Can't Be Safer Than Alcohol Because 'Lady Gaga Says She's Addicted To It' 2014

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2014/01/29/jeff-sessions-marijuana-cant-be-safer-than-alcohol-because-lady-gaga-says-shes-addicted-to-it/#2475c0da5354

 

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) looks back proudly at his efforts, alongside Nancy Reagan, to “create a hostility to drug use” in the 1980s. Not surprisingly, Sessions was not pleased by President Obama’s recent comments about the relative hazards of marijuana and alcohol, as he explained to Attorney General Eric Holder during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today:

I have to tell you, I’m heartbroken to see what the president said just a few days ago. It’s stunning to me. I find it beyond comprehension….This is just difficult for me to conceive how the president of the United States could make such a statement as that….Did the president conduct any medical or scientific survey before he waltzed into 
The New Yorker
 and opined contrary to the positions of attorneys general and presidents universally prior to that?

Sessions, by contrast, clearly did his homework. He rebutted Obama’s observation that marijuana is safer than alcohol by citing a renowned expert on substance abuse:

Lady Gaga says she’s addicted to it and it is 
not
 harmless.

I have been covering drug policy for about 25 years, and I am still sometimes startled by what passes for an argument among prohibitionists. What should we conclude from this sample of one about the hazards posed by marijuana? That it can be taken to excess, like every other fun thing on the face of the planet? That some people say they have trouble consuming it in moderation? Didn’t we know both of those things before Dr. Gaga’s earthshaking discovery?

More to the point, what does the possibility of addiction tell us about the truth of the statement Obama made—i.e., that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol? After all, “less dangerous” does not mean “harmless.” As Holder observed, “any drug used in an inappropriate way can be harmful,” and “alcohol is among those drugs.” To evaluate relative hazards, we have to dig a little deeper.

 

According to one widely cited study, based on data from the National Comorbidity Survey, “dependence” is nearly 70 percent more common among drinkers than it is among pot smokers. So even by this measure, marijuana looks less dangerous. That’s without considering differences in acute toxicity, driving impairment, and the long-term effects of heavy consumption, all of which weigh strongly in marijuana’s favor.

Gaga was not the only authority cited by Sessions. He also mentioned former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy, chairman of the anti-pot group Project SAM, who according to the senator “says the president is wrong on this subject.” Yet here is what Kennedy said during a recent debate on CNN with my Reason colleague Nick Gillespie:

I agree with the president. Alcohol is more dangerous.

Sessions was on firmer ground when he pressed Holder to admit that “if marijuana is legalized for adults, it makes it more available for young people.” As I’ve said before, it is likely that legalization in Colorado and Washington will be accompanied by an increase in underage consumption. While the newly legal marijuana stores are not allowed to serve anyone younger than 21, there will be a certain amount of leakage from adults to “minors” (who in this case include a bunch of people who in most other respects are considered adults), as there is with alcohol. Buying marijuana may become more difficult for people younger than 21 (assuming the black market eventually withers away), but that does not mean obtaining marijuana will be more difficult. Some teenagers and young adults will get pot by swiping it from parents or older siblings, and some legal buyers will have no qualms about sharing with older teenagers or 20-year-olds (although that will remain illegal). Given this reality, Holder’s response to Sessions’ concern about underage access is a bit troubling:

One of our eight priorities is the prevention of distribution of marijuana to minors. If there’s an indication that marijuana is being distributed to minors, that would require federal involvement….

Young people find ways to get alcohol because adults can have access to it. I’m not sure that we’ll see the same thing here given what we have said with regard to our enforcement priorities.

Holder is referring to the eight issues the Justice Department expects Colorado and Washington to address as the price of federal forbearance, one of which is “preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors.” If that means stopping state-licensed stores from selling marijuana to people younger than 21, it can be accomplished through strict enforcement of the states’ age limits. But if it means preventing 21-year-olds from sharing marijuana with their 19-year-old friends or brothers, it is not a realistic expectation. It is more like an excuse to crack down whenever the president gets tired of sniping by diehard drug warriors like Sessions.

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http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/procon/sessions.html

 

Jeff Sessions on the Issues on Jeff Sessions; Senators. ... on Drugs

 

What was your legacy in Alabama?

Well, I think what we tried to do is give the taxpayers the best return on their dollar. There are more drug cases than you can prosecute, good cases, and so we just demanded a lot of our prosecutors and ask[ed] them to move those cases and try them effectively, and I think they did a good job of that. We adhered to the sentencing guidelines as passed by the Congress of the United States, which we were ethically and legally bound to do, and I think in appropriate manner, and so over the years, I had some occasion to give a lot of thought to drugs. I chaired a committee for the Department of Justice and have thought about it and wrestled with what are the best things we can do to utilize our resources effectively to reduce illegal drugs in America. ...

I think we made a big difference. ... I think if every state in America and the federal government would maintain an intensive prosecution effort of the most notorious drug gangs in their communities, you can affect drug use that way. That is a serious and significant component of an overall plan to reduce drug abuse.

 

What about low level traffickers? Are small fry drug dealers getting bigger sentences than they deserve?

Well, what's a small fry? Is a small fry a person who was caught with six ounces of crack cocaine who's been selling drugs for three years before he got caught and a full time drug dealer, maybe extorting people who don't pay him, threatening their lives, maybe has a series of prior convictions. That's what people sometimes call small fry, because perhaps when you caught them they only had a quarter of an ounce or an ounce of cocaine, but testimony proves they were a major conspirator in an organization that dealt kilograms of crack cocaine into the communities for a period of years.

 

What are mandatory minimums?

The federal sentencing guidelines set some mandatory minimums and they also set ranges in every case within which a judge must sentence. And all I ask[ed] our lawyers to do was to be honest, to present the evidence they have, and ask the judge to sentence appropriately within the guidelines, and they were narrow. It was likely to be 24 to 30 months. If a judge likes you, he'd give you 24 months. If he didn't, he gave you 30. But the guidelines were pretty narrow. Sometimes, the sentences were tough. You'd have a 25-year-old who's been selling for a long time getting 15 to 18 years in jail, pretty tough sentences. But as they say, if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. ...

I've ... expressed my concern that the numbers of prosecutions of powder cocaine, which is often the cocaine that comes in from Colombia and so forth, are down 10% by this Department of Justice. Even though their [numbers of] prosecutors are up, their drug prosecutions have been basically flat, and so I think we need to get more attention to prosecutions ... . If I had to be forced to choose, I would prefer more prosecutions in exchange for a less[er] sentence. I think what we need to do is send a clear message that drugs will not be sold in any community in America. There are areas of cities in America today that everyone knows drugs are being sold openly, and that can not be allowed and if we move aggressively, and Giuliani proved it ... Mayor Giuliani [proved] in New York that if you start with those small cases and clean out the streets and eliminate the bickering and the shootings and the robberies and get those people locked up who are regularly dealing drugs and other criminal activities, your crime statistics go down dramatically.

 

How does the "substantial assistance" provision work?

... It's particularly helpful in a drug case, because there's no single drug person. ... The drugs come into the country. One person sells it to the next. And they have to confess, in effect, if they've been caught, and tell where they got the drug. Then you investigate that person and that person and pretty soon you can be arresting some of the biggest dealers in the community. And that was always our goal.

 

That was the concept?

Yes. It was that and the fact that there is no incentive for a person to plead guilty and to confess if there isn't some benefit from it. Because usually these co-conspirators [are] friends, sometimes even relatives, so they don't want to testify against them. But if you can say you're looking at 10 years and we'll recommend five years ... you've got to corroborate your testimony, but we want you to tell what you know, where you've been getting your drugs and who you've been selling your drugs to. That's standard prosecutor practice around America, and I think it's been very effective.

 

Isn't it destructive to society to have families turning against each other?

It's a tough business, but drugs fray the fabric too. This law and the law of the United States says you cannot sell cocaine or heroin and if you do, you're going to be caught. You can take the sentence they gave you, or you can cooperate and tell who was involved in the business with you.

 

Isn't it a problem that conspiracy law allows possibly innocent people to be convicted on testimony alone?

That's a theoretical problem; that's not reality. There is not a problem in reality. I've been at it for 15 years, I've seen it time and time again, people do not testify against innocent people, they, reluctantly, only testify against guilty people. It's hard enough to get that, and they usually minimize [the wrongdoing], "Well, I sold to him one time or I bought from him one time," and later you may find out that they had an ongoing relationship for years. But I have not found that to be a problem. Most professional prosecutors have not. Innocent people are not getting convicted under this on any kind of routine basis, and you have to have more than the uncorroborated word of a co-conspirator if you want to get a conviction. You got to have some real proof that corroborates that testimony. You usually look for two, three, four, five people that testify before you indict somebody. One person testifying that another one was a partner, and there's no evidence to back that up, would not be indicted.

 

Some critics say that it's not fair that higher level conspirators get lesser sentences than lower level participants by "snitching down" on people who have less information, and therefore, less to offer the government.

... Occasionally, it works that way but not normally. If you handle the cases well, the larger dealers ought to get more time. But that does not always happen. Sometimes the larger dealers may well have the opportunity to lead the investigators into an international drug smuggling ring of very significant proportions, and it could, in fact, risk their very life because they're murdered many times, these cooperating witnesses, and so they say, "I'll work under cover, I'll wear a recorder, I'll go meet these people in Miami, these Colombian people, but I want a low sentence. I don't want to spend 20 years of my life in jail, too." ... So sometimes ... a big dealer will get what might appear to some to be a less than appropriate sentence, but that really is the judgment of the prosecutor, and his skill in making sure that he makes good judgments about what kind of recommendations to make, and of course the judge does not have to follow it. ...

 

Does the system grant prosecutors too much power?

The prosecutor has the power not to recommend a downward departure, but once he does, the judge sets the sentence. ... If the sentence were 10, he may recommend seven and the judge may give five or eight. But it's the judge's final call... .

 

Does the substantial assistance provision provide an incentive for cooperating defendants to lie?

Well, you have to be careful. A good prosecutor must always be careful, and if there's not corroboration on the testimony of a co-conspirator drug dealer, you should not proceed with the case. You should have absolute confidence that the facts given to you are true. Or you should not proceed.

 

What is good corroboration?

Well, you have things like mailing records ... maybe admissions on tape. Maybe the person gets the person to talk about the prior drug deal they did. "You remember that last cocaine deal we did, I got five kilos from you, I'd like to get another five" and he said, "Yeah, I got some more, just like last time." So sometimes that corroborates it. Or maybe it's four or five people who say the same thing. ...

 

Why are there so many federal drug cases in Alabama?

... We used our resources that we had effectively. The state police really like it because you had a Speedy Trial Act and cases were brought to trial within 90 days ... and they got stiff sentences promptly, and they were removed from the community. Whereas, too often in the state courts you would have the circumstance of a person being arrested, being released on bail, and then being tried a year later, maybe waiting another year on appeal before they ever went to jail. The federal system is a very effective system to prosecute criminal cases, and it does a good job at it. You can argue whether the guidelines are too severe or not. I think that's a debatable issue. And I'm perfectly willing to discuss that. But if the guidelines called for a certain sentence, I expected my prosecutors to tell the judge the truth and let the judge sentence. No prosecutor can sentence. Sentences are done by the judges. And, by the way, the probation office does a background investigation to see what the defendant's involvement was, his prior record, and those sorts of things, and advises the judge before the sentence is imposed.

 

Do you think the sentencing guidelines are too severe?

No, I don't really think it's too severe. I think on occasion people get very stiff sentences [where] maybe lesser sentences would have been appropriate, but it's difficult to say. You pay a price when you have an objective sentencing system. That is, nothing is perfect. If you leave it up to the judges--which we had before--you'd have two defendants for the same offense and one judge would give probation and another fifteen years. I've seen it time and time again. That's why Democrats like Senator Kennedy and Senator Biden and Strom Thurmond [and other] Republicans, joined on this plan to have objective sentencing criteria that I think has fundamentally worked. I believe it's effective. It does allow people, particularly in drug cases, to cooperate and reduce their sentence, which then helps law enforcement eliminate whole gangs of drug dealers. Whole neighborhoods can be freed from the everpresent corner drug dealer, and that has worked and it's good for the country. But it needs to be a part of an entire effort of education, interdiction of foreign imported drugs, and street enforcement. All of those are important.

 

Is the war on drugs a success?

It was a success when I left office in 1992. After 12 years of prosecuting, drug use among high school seniors had dropped every single year from 1981 through 1991. Now that use is going back up. I'm concerned that drug prosecutions are down, that the president has not sent a clear message about the unacceptability of drugs, and I predicted when he started, he reduced the drug czar's office dramatically, they sent an uncertain trumpet sound about drugs, and sure enough, drug use went up as I predicted, faster than I predicted. It's a tragedy to me to see us lose the momentum that we had gained for over a decade ... .

 

Is the development of conspiracy law and the substantial assistance provision an erosion of Bill of Rights?

It's not an erosion of the Bill of Rights to catch somebody, record them on tape doing a drug deal and have him go to jail. The law of the United States say if you have 10 kilograms of cocaine you serve five years in jail, and you get what the law says you get. Now, how is that an erosion of the Bill of Rights? This defense lawyer complaint is not valid, in my opinion. The guidelines are tough and if they want to argue about them being too tough, let them do so. But it's not an erosion of the Bill of Rights. ...

 

Are you at peace with your record?

I feel good about what we did. I feel like the team we assembled were fine prosecutors and fine attorneys who did a good job for the taxpayers. We expected a lot and they worked hard and they did [get] a good return, by prosecuting good cases effectively with very few reversals and good sentencing. So I think that's what we were paid to do and I would expect every United States attorney in the country to do the same. ...

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Is a small fry a person who was caught with six ounces of crack cocaine who's been selling drugs for three years before he got caught and a full time drug dealer, maybe extorting people who don't pay him, threatening their lives, maybe has a series of prior convictions.

 

What an active imagination. Maybe he's delusional.

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The Drug Policy Alliance emailed this to me today....

 

 

This was our worst nightmare.

Donald Trump has picked Jeff Sessions to be the next Attorney General.

It really couldn’t get any worse.

Over these last four years we’ve made great gains across the political spectrum toward treating drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one. Jeff Sessions will try to dismantle all that.

Jeff Sessions is a drug war extremist. There’s really no way around that.

As a U.S. Senator from Alabama, Sessions called for increased federal marijuana enforcement, and said “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He once joked that his only issue with the Ku Klux Klan was their drug use. He was even denied a federal judgeship 30 years ago, by a Republican-controlled Senate, for racist views.

Get ready for raids on marijuana businesses. Get ready for militarized, Reagan-era drug war tactics.

We can’t let this stand.

The Drug Policy Alliance and our allies will fight Jeff Sessions’ nomination in the Senate tooth and nail. He won’t be nominated until Donald Trump takes office and the new Congress is in session. But with only six new Senators taking office, we must start fighting now.

 

Contact your Senator now

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Yesterday I talked to a criminal defense attorney who has practiced in the Flint area for over 40 years. He was looking to buy a couple of properties to lease to growers and provisioning centers and also offer loans to get them started. He said he didn't think Trump would give two shyts about MJ. I called him back today and told him who our next AG would be. His response was, "fuk it. I'm pulling the plug on this idea."

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