The good news is that Jeff Sessions’ confirmation vote has been delayed. The bad news is that Jeff Sessions still has a chance to become the head law enforcement agent in the nation as United States Attorney General. Jeff Sessions has made many disparaging comments about marijuana and those that use it. Those comments include the one he made about ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana.’ President Donald Trump has made comments about marijuana that put him all over place making it hard to know how he truly feels about marijuana reform.
The nomination of Jeff Sessions, and other longtime drug warriors, speaks volumes to me, as Jeff Sessions is as about as big of a marijuana opponent as it gets. Proof of that is his support of a bill in the 1990’s as Alabama’s Attorney General that called for the execution of someone who had been caught selling marijuana for a second time. Per The Conversation:
In 1996, when serving as Alabama’s attorney general, he promoted H.B. 242, S.B. 291, a state bill to establish mandatory death sentences for a second drug trafficking conviction, including for dealing marijuana. His support for the bill was reported at the time by several local newspapers, as well as The Alabama Lawyer, the Alabama State Bar’s official publication. The Alabama Lawyer described the bill as part of a legislative package that Sessions and then-Governor Fob James proposed to “fix a broken system.”
On Feb. 29, 1996, for example, The Huntsville Times reported that the proposed package of bills to fight crime by “ending parole, eliminating part of the appeals in death penalty cases, and executing people twice convicted of being drug kingpins” had drawn “praise from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
The drug bill was advertised as targeting “kingpins,” but to qualify for execution, the defendant merely needed to lead a group of five people and make the minimum wage in drug proceeds. Alabama’s minimum wage was US$4.25 per hour in 1996.
The article goes on to point out that such a bill would be unconstitutional because mandatory death penalty laws were determined to be unconstitutional in 1987. But that doesn’t change the fact that Jeff Sessions supported the bill. He made it clear at the time from what it sounds like that he supported a death penalty for marijuana dealers in certain circumstances. That’s absolutely awful.
No one should be locked in a cage for marijuana, and DEFINITELY no one should be executed because of marijuana. For someone to think otherwise, whether it was 20 years ago or more, is unforgivable. There is a vote coming up in which it will be decided whether Jeff Sessions will become the next Attorney General of the United States. If you haven’t already contacted your Senator, you need to do so. And if you have already contacted them, do so again. We cannot have someone like Jeff Sessions in charge of America’s legal system!