An Open Letter to Jeff Sessions
November 20, 2016
Dear Senator Sessions,
Congratulations on your nomination for Attorney General. As the nations’ most senior law enforcement official, you have a big job ahead of you.
When it comes to marijuana, the fact is that previous administrations have left you with a pickle of a problem. One that has put millions of Americans and about half the state's laws out of sync with the policies of the federal government, and the law of the land.
As Attorney General, you will oversee the DEA. You won’t need any assistance in destroying the medical cannabis industry if you so choose. The laws are in place and the resources lined up for you already. You simply need to unleash the DEA and they will go about arresting and charging people from California, to Oregon, to Colorado and in 25 other states. Federal law breakers all of them, and so easy to find since they are doing business openly, even paying taxes on their illegal activities. Can you believe that?
Let’s review what some of the consequences of DEA action might be:
Destroying the cannabis industry would be hugely unpopular, likely generating widespread protests across the country. 89% of Americans' now support the use of cannabis for medical purposes with a small majority (54%) supporting complete legalization. Young people in particular would feel very passionate about this issue causing further disenchantment with the new Trump administration.
Prosecution would drive thousands of (otherwise law abiding) business people underground, where they would once again sell on the black market.
People who rely on cannabis would once again be meeting dealers in cars, in their homes and on street corners. Associated petty crime would flourish with all this new illegal activity.
Millions of people with anxiety, PTSD, migraines, chronic pain, insomnia and about 18 other medical conditions would find it much harder to get the products that they have come to rely on over the past few years. There are millions with serious medical conditions, including children with epilepsy and seizure disorders, that depend on medical marijuana.
Fewer people would use to cannabis get off opioids and end their opioid addiction. This is currently one of the biggest health issues in America.
Growers would continue growing, but doing so once again out of sight. Their products would no longer be tested for pesticides or harmful chemicals putting people at risk.
Thousands of businesses owners would close their doors, lay off their employees and stop paying taxes.
People would still use marijuana, just as they have done for thousands of years.
All of this would be hugely unpopular within the electorate, at a time when the Trump administration desperately needs to unite the country around its agenda.
Mr. Sessions, I know that you are no fan of marijuana, but let me propose a way that you might navigate this huckleberry, while remaining true to your core beliefs as a conservative, as well as showing support for the ‘jobs first’ agenda of our new President.
1.\tState publicly, even though you don’t support the marijuana movement, that you strongly believe in the conservative principles of states’ rights and federalism, and therefore marijuana policy should be up to the states to decide. The federal government has no business involving itself in this issue.
3.\tRecognize that more than 60 percent of Americans now live in states where voters have approved either medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or both. Allowing states to get further out of alignment with the federal government is problematic. To solve this problem once and for all, simply instruct the DEA to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances, where it can be regulated and taxed like alcohol or tobacco (two far more harmful substances).
4.\tRecognize that cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the US, and with $100B industry forecast by 2029, it’s a massive job creator (something every conservative should be able to get behind).
Mr. Sessions, if you have any remaining doubts, have your people give me a call. I would be happy to connect you with tens of thousands of everyday Americans, who are finding incredible relief for their serious medical issues, by using a harmless weed that grows just about anywhere. I would also be happy to put you in touch with countless medical professionals who have advised these patients, and are equally convinced of the healing benefits of medical cannabis.
At HelloMD, we see this first-hand every day of the week. I know things look different in Alabama, but perhaps you should pay a visit to California?