“It’s possible that some dosages can be constructed in a way that might be beneficial,” Sessions admitted. “But if you ever just smoke marijuana for example where you have no idea how much THC you’re getting it’s probably not a good way to administer a medicinal amount. So forgive me if I”m a bit dubious about that.”
What the Attorney General seems to be unaware of, is that patients who smoke cannabis can titrate their dosage more precisely and accurately that patients who, for example, take a pill. This is because they get immediate sensory feedback on the level of relief and know just when they’ve reached an effective dose.
ASA: ‘Sessions Needs To Stop’
“More than 85 percent of the U.S. population live in states with medical cannabis laws, and over 2 million Americans are benefiting from its use,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), in response to Sessions’ comments. “These laws address the healthcare needs of patients who benefit from cannabis-based treatments, often where conventional medications have failed.
“Patient populations include people living with or treating cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, severe childhood epilepsy disorders such as Dravet syndrome, post-traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, and a myriad of other conditions,” Sherer pointed out.
“Statements like these from the Attorney General are factually inaccurate,” Sherer said. “In January, the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering released a report that reviewed over 10,000 research articles, which states there is conclusive, moderate, and substantial evidence for benefits of cannabis in several conditions.
“Sessions needs to stop spreading unfounded, unscientific theories about medical marijuana and take the time to actually meet the millions of Americans that are benefitting from its use before making comments about it being over-hyped,” Sherer said.
‘Much Of’ Cole Memo ‘Valid’
Sessions indicated that he might keep Obama-era cannabis enforcement guidelines in place, when it comes to medical marijuana.
“The Cole Memorandum set up some policies under President Obama’s Department of Justice about how cases should be selected in those states and what would be appropriate for federal prosecution, much of which I think is valid,” he said in a question-and-answer session with reporters on Wednesday following a speech in Richmond, Virginia, reports Tom Angell at MassRoots.
The 2013 Cole Memorandum laid out guidelines for how states can avoid federal raids after legalizing medical marijuana.
Sessions said that he “may have some different ideas myself in addition to that,” but indicated the feds would not be able to enforce marijuana prohibition in states which have legalized. “Essentially we’re not able to go into a state and pick up the work that the police and sheriffs have been doing for decades,” he said.
Sessions Rejects Using Marijuana To Quit Opiates
The Attorney General brushed aside the scientific and anecdotal evidence showing that cannabis can ease withdrawal from opioids, reduce opiate overdoses, and help recovering addicts from relapsing.
“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
Ol’ Jeff seems to have missed a rather important point. He thinks marijuana is “only slightly less awful” than heroin. Let him tell that to the families of the 13,000 people who died of heroin overdoses last year. Or maybe he could try his luck telling the families of the 20,000+ people who died after overdosing on prescription opioids.
The fact that Sessions continues to pretend to have medical expertise, which he decidedly and demonstrably doesn’t, is troubling, especially with his quaint ideas about cannabis. Just last year, he said in a Senate hearing that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”