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Jeff Sessions Finally Says Marijuana ‘May’ Have ‘Some Benefits’

The Attorney General has been stubbornly standing in the way of progress

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a hard-lined marijuana opponent, has been one of the major barriers to federal marijuana legalization and research in the Trump Administration. But on Wednesday (April 25), speaking to a key Senate panel, he signaled that he might slowly be accepting the need to advance marijuana research, calling it “perfectly appropriate to study” and admitting that “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana.”

However, Sessions’ positive statements about marijuana were dampened by his rejection of current marijuana research, misleading claims about U.S. treaty obligations, and a thinly veiled disbelief that marijuana could serve any major medical purposes.

In one instance, Sessions refused to give credence to marijuana research that shows that opioid overdoses are lower in states with medical marijuana programs. When U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) asked Sessions whether he had considered medical marijuana as a solution to the opioid crisis, he replied: “I’ve asked my staff to take a look at it because science is very important.” However, he followed by saying he doesn’t believe the statistics showing overdose death rates have declined in legal states “will be sustained in the long run.” He supported this position by claiming that: “The American Medical Association is absolutely, resolutely, opposed to marijuana use.”

 

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