U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is blaming overdose deaths on the movement to legalize marijuana and reform drug laws.
“In recent years, there was an erosion of support for anti-drug law enforcement — in Congress, in state legislatures, and even among some of the general public,” Sessions said in a speech at a Drug Enforcement Administration graduation ceremony on Friday. “One law enforcement professional told me that he felt disappointed that government officials didn’t seem to understand the importance of his work. Resources were redirected. What has been the result? We saw drug purity and availability go up and drug prices go down. We saw addiction and death spread like never before.”
Legalization advocates pushed back strongly against Sessions’s new claim that support for drug law reform is tied to increased drug deaths.
“If Attorney General Jeff Sessions was serious about combating the opioid crisis, then he would do two things, support the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and advocate for an expansion of licensed physicians abilities to recommend marijuana to treat a range of ailments including the biggest contributor to addiction, chronic pain,” Justin Strekal, political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Marijuana Moment. “The data clearly lays out that medical marijuana is associated with a 36% drop in opioid abuse rates and nearly a 25% reduction in overdose fatalities.”
Read more at Marijuana Movement