Attorney General Jeff Sessions has always been clear about his stance on marijuana. On Tuesday, Sessions continued his fight against legalizing marijuana while speaking at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting.
"States can pass whatever laws they choose," he told a crowd of attorneys general, according to The Huffington Post. “But I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.”
"I see a line in The Washington Post today that I remember from the '80s," Sessions said, according to WaPo. "'Marijuana is a cure for opiate abuse.' Give me a break. This is the kind of argument that's been made out there to just — almost a desperate attempt to defend the harmlessness of marijuana or even its benefits. I doubt that's true. Maybe science will prove I'm wrong."
Let's take a look at what science has to say.
To begin with, a study in Health Affairs found that when medical marijuana was a legal option, the rate of prescription drug usage fell significantly. And what's more, a 2014 study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that states with medical marijuana laws between 1990 and 2010 saw about 25% fewer deaths due to opioid overdoses than states that didn't have those laws.
"Several studies have already shown that states with legal marijuana access see reduced opioid problems,” Tom Angell, chairman of drug policy reform group Marijuana Majority, told HuffPo. “If the attorney general really cares about public health and safety, he’ll stop relying on ‘alternative facts’ ... This administration should respect science and, at the very least, needs to uphold the president’s repeated campaign pledges to respect state cannabis laws."
(Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more, click here.)