Jeff Sessions: ‘We’re Seeing Real Violence’ Thanks to Marijuana Legalization

jeff sessions

Of the Trump administration’s various moves so far, none have generated a more puzzled reaction than their hardline stance on marijuana. On Thursday, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed that it’s just not something that, at worst, the vast majority of Americans are concerned with anymore, and a crackdown on pot was not something that Trump campaigned on. In spite of that, Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on Monday, telling reporters that cannabis legalization has driven crime, even when statistics say otherwise.

“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot,” Sessions said to gathered reporters at the Department of Justice. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.” The stats don’t necessarily bear that out: A 2014 study showed no increase in violent crime and “some evidence of decreasing rates of some types of violent crime, namely homicide and assault.”

Strangely, Sessions seemingly countered his own argument at one point. “You can’t sue somebody for drug debt,” he said. “The only way to get your money is through strong-arm tactics, and violence tends to follow that,” he added, but that’s an issue with illegal drugs, not tightly regulated and taxed legal ones.

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