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Alternative Fact: Marijuana Causes Violence

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director February 27, 2017
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions Photo by Gage Skidmore

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
    Photo by Gage Skidmore

    Speaking to the press this evening, Attorney General Jeff Sessions doubled down on his infamous reefer madness rhetoric. Sessions stated:

    “We’re seeing real violence around that. Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”

    Sessions’ latest comments describe a reality that only exists in the world of alternative facts. Marijuana legalization has not lead to increased crime or violence, but rather is associated with lowered youth use rates and access, increased tax revenue, and fewer arrests of otherwise law abiding American citizens. The truth is that legalization is working as voters have intended and that the new US Attorney General’s opinions are reckless, irresponsible, and outright false.

    These statements are not only out of touch with reality and public sentiment, but they also go against President Trump’s promise on the campaign trail to leave marijuana policy to the states. If you support legalization now is not the time to be silent. Now is the time to stand up and fight back.

    The only way to ensure our progress continues in light of this proposed push back is to pass federal legislation that makes certain that the Attorney General can’t intervene in states that have enacted adult use regulatory laws. We need to pass the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017. This legislation would prevent the federal government from attack state approved legalization and medical marijuana laws.

    Click here to write your elected officials in support of this legislation

    This is a true test of our movement. Stand with is against these threats because together we are unstoppable. Together we will legalize marijuana nationwide.

    Are you with us?

    60 Responses to “Alternative Fact: Marijuana Causes Violence”

    1. Donna says:

      So Erik, In your opinion what’s their positive for lying? The court, lawyer, rehabilitation center tie ins? The high annual salaries of the mid and top tier law enforcement position that would be under economic stain with the legalization of cannabis? The pharmacy companies interests in the commercialization of cannabis for massive profits and mobilization? Or the old Nixon DEA deal that’s hanging on for one last breath? Perhaps all of the above?

      As always: Legalization without commercialisation

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Legalization without commercialization is a contradiction in terms as long as we live in a society that uses money. So stop talking out your ass — it’s starting to stink in here.

      • Julian says:

        The “negative” you have for lying you adle-bated troll.
        “Legalization without commercialization” is precisely what Sessions Trump, Big Pharma and private prisons are aiming for. You are the enemy of our legalization efforts.
        The real question now is whats your “positive,” because all Im reading from you is negative.

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh come on Julian, I agree with you 99% of the time, you know what she means,, the Tomato model… If I was dictator, that’s what we would have.. We all know that’s not going to happen, but it’s not something to fight about. Not when there’s people on here keep trying to tell us that,, ” maybe Trump will reschedule, Trump will legalize because of the money,, Republicans respect State’s Rights, Obama didn’t do anything..”
          Bull..
          For 40 years I’ve listened to people talk about, it would create jobs, tax revenue,
          police have more important things to do, this is like the 20’s. All true but I say that’s not really the point.. ” It’s just a plant in the backyard,, I smoke it, then I don’t bother anybody else,, why is this a problem ”
          My best line, and I’ve used this on a US Attorney, a former Assistant Director of the FBI, the head of the ATF, a high ranking State Police official, a cousin whose a police officer and an old friend from high school running as a Tea Party Republican for US House, as well as many other people.. I say ” the ONLY problem with Marijuana is you could grow it in backyard for FREE, and in a country where everything is for sale (U.S), what worse crime there be”
          Never fails to get a laugh followed by an affirmative silent nod.. Try it, it works every time.

          • Dain Bramage says:

            You get to the core of it. Still, Donna’s comments are counterproductive, since even tomatoes are sold commercially. Full legalization, cannabis sells for pennies on the pound. But that’s still commercialization. She makes unreasonable demands.

            • Four More Years says:

              ” I marijuana could only be grown in a lab and be patented, it would be in our toothpaste..” Another one of my zingers that always gets a laugh and a nod when talking to holdouts..
              I’m sure all of us here,, Me, You, Donna, Julian,, Matt,, all of us ,, If we were to describe what we would do if put in charge of the world, would all come up with different models,, no two identical..
              Some people would say the tomato model, grow your own,, give it away if you want,, barter with your neighbor,, ” I’ll trade you some weed from my backyard garden for a few of those tomatoes from yours” No cash sales, no taxes.
              There’s the strawberry model.. buy it for cash at the farmer market.
              Some would apply the medical model to recreational,, State regulated dispensaries selling to card holding customer who have registered with their local authorities and pay an annual fee.
              Some would say sell it in liquor stores,,,
              Some would say the Quickie Mart, “Pot, it’s on aisle 7,, between the Meth and the Snickers Bars, we keep the LSD behind the counter, with the Lottery tickets.”
              I’ve heard one person propose people could get a Marijuana permit,, in exchange for their drivers license.
              Antagonizing each other over legalization without commercialization or whether to call it Marijuana or Cannabis, distracts from fighting the Sessions model of legalization..
              Zero Tolerance, SWAT raids, Asset Forfeiture, and “Convicts R Us”.

          • Julian says:

            As Dain Bramage explains, tomatoes are not marijuana. And clearly quality marijuana CAN be taxed and regulated, even after California defies the CSAct and goes full commercial. Colorado has been doing a fine job of that, and even if we get “pennies to the pound,” the sales tax on top is still doing its job to provide fair, legal representation, hence the Cannabis Caucus.
            But the idea of “Legalization without commercialization” under current state decriminalization, while simultaneously ramping up asset forfeitures is a very real threat of empowering organized crime from within our own government.
            Trump and Sessions action on restricting the commercial legal marijuana market while states legalize will result in an enormous flood of income to violent black market cartels and cause our law enforcement to work entirely on seizing assets instead of solving or preventing violent crimes. This is a very real, very serious threat we are dealing with and we dont have time to fuck around with grandoise pipe dreams about “legalization without commercialization” because its a distracting perfect being the enemy of the good and that $#!+ aint gonna happen. Getting mugged by a cop? The way things are going that $#!+ is more likely to happen.

        • Four More Years says:

          Not sure I follow your logic or why your this upset about it.
          If Trump/Session would give us Recreational Legalization under any form, then that would be one thing I would have to agree with Trump/Sessions on.. I hardly see where that’s the case though..
          Donna’s not the enemy,, Trumps the enemy,,
          Lets not fight amongst ourselves.

          ” If Hitler invaded Hell, than I would give the Devil at least a favorable mention in Commons ” Winston Churchill

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Yes… any marijuana legalization model — the tomato model, the strawberry model, even Donna’s anti-capitalism model — is better than the Sessions model. In theory.

            I do believe we should resist those who seek to divide us. Is Donna one of those? I’ve always thought so. But let’s reevaluate.

            MSimon, an obvious Trump “mole”,troll, or plant, is clearly attempting to use the legalization issue to divide us as Trump would divide us: by race, gender, orientation, religion, disability, and any other possible form of discrimination you could think of. So fuck MSimon, and his Trump propaganda.

            But is Donna doing the same thing by advocating for the anti-capitalism legalization model? Well…Sort of.

            If she is against commercialization, then she is against the existence of dispensaries. If she is against the dispensaries, then I must ask: is she in favor of DEA raids? She winds up siding with Sessions on that one, whether she intends to or not.

            Does she know this? No way to be sure. Perhaps she will tell us. But propagandists generally won’t engage in real dialogue. They drop their load of advertising, and take off.

            She may not understand any of that. And I have no wish to be cruel or divisive myself.

            So: let’s not be cruel to Donna; but let’s point out that she is helping Sessions make his prohibitionist case.

            • Julian says:

              Fair enough: the Golden Rule will stand and I will work to create a better example of dialogue. I looked back at some of my comments and they definitely fell into the cruel category.
              With that said, Dain Bramage (Such a clever pen name…) you make an excellent point about propagandists dumping their load of dirty lies then moving on. Or as Mark Mitcham points out, “notice how they never respond to facts?” Which leads me to believe we may be talking to bots.
              So pardon my impatience, but Ive tried everything to get an honest response from Donna or MSimon, good or bad. They just come back as if no one read the facts, no one fact checked, hoping they’ll drive the same propganda like Trump really isnt declaring Drig War III or even responsible for his AG’s agenda.
              Im starting to wonder if this blog needs reCaptcha.

      • Four More Years says:

        Legalization without commercialization sounds great,, but the reason a lot of non smokers go along with legalization is for the tax revenue.

        • Julian says:

          Precisely: If we have any hope of passing states rights legislation through Congress like HR 975 or The “Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” …despite the hypocrisy and existential threat of drug war III from Trump-Sessions… it will be through the revenue from fair taxation:

          http://www.alternet.org/drugs/5-reasons-trump-think-twice-messing-marijuana?akid=15252.2366751.rL18fi&rd=1&src=newsletter1073159&t=14

          I dont like being mean, but Im fed up with comments that want the perfect to be the enemy of the good because we dont have time for that now… we truly never did. Prohibition has persisted for 75 years based… among many things.. on. a war against small farmers; the ability to grow hemp and grow healthy local exchange markets. I want nothing more than to see waves of cannabis undulating in the wind across my valley. But we have to fairly tax it to get there. The existence of the government is dependent upon our dependence to be taxed for trade and commodities. No representation without taxation means that likewise we have no one in Congress on our side unless we can produce revenue. The recreational marijuana market has lived up to that promise, reducing violence, paying for schools and health care services and creating Congressional allies every day. All this no tax bull$#!+ needs to step aside.

          • Mark Mitcham says:

            Agreed. The thing is, and I’ve told Donna this, I’m as anti-capitalist as just about anyone! I hate money! I can envision a world without it very easily… all the other mammals seem to be able to survive without it. It is in no way a physical necessity.

            But I’m a realist. You’ve got to pick your battles. Until I find enough people who agree with me, and are ready to live communally, I’m stuck with Capitalism for the time being, and I’m not willing to let that unwinnable battle sink our efforts to free the weed.

    2. Before I Jump Like Monkey Give Me Banana, Mr. Sessions

    3. Cat Cassie says:

      Sessions wants to fill his for profit prisons. Governor Hickinlooper said he is going to fight it. Not just because the people have spoken but because he sees that legalization is actually working.

    4. csaaphill says:

      Yeah if this is the kind of statements coming out of Washington now I’m guessing removing marijuana off the Schedule one list is more likely off the board.

    5. Matt says:

      I do hope we can indeed pass the Respect Marijuana Act in time before a crackdown. Both Spicer, with his gateway theory regarding marijuana and opiode “link” (gateway theory as we know has been debunked), and now Sessions with that old-time falsehood that somehow marijuana is linked with violence (which we all know is also false), the old ideas of Reefer Madness persist. Ironically, if we legalize marijuana, the “violence” Sessions thinks exists around weed would (which is due to gang violence, cartels, etc. all existing because prohibition is in effect). So sick of seeing both Spicer and Sessions on the television. They are both wrong, and living in the past, stuck there. But we do need to pass the Respect act, and I agree, now is NOT the time to be silent. Contact your legislators. Take to the streets, and stay united and strong, make your voices heard. We CAN do this, but we must act now.

      • Matt says:

        oh, and it is interesting how they are still trying to spread Reefer Madness when over half the population knows that is explenitive. Lol, thought my other posts on the other article were deleted but I see they are still there so I decided to come back and add to this one. Thanks, NORML, it is so good to have so many friends and allies in our fight. Night all for now, and hang in there, we can do this, stand up, don’t be afraid.

      • Anonymous says:

        I too hope, they pass the Respect Act, then the federal war over,, but do you really think Trump,, in view of his appointments, pandering to law enforcement, and just the makeup of the vast majority of his base, is going to sign it. First get it out of committee,, then pass the House, the Senate, then get the president to sign it and then Affirmed by the Supreme Court,, by then all majority Republican institutions, We’ll See.

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          That is precisely why we must not “normalize” Trump’s fascist, authoritarian, white supremacist regime by making concessions to them with the hope that they will “go easy” on the whiter-toned among us, just so long as we keep our mouths shut when they come for everyone else.

          If we do that, we gain nothing, and we lose our freedom, and our souls.

          That is why, for all the calls for unity and bipartisanship, which I strongly endorse, we must recognize that on this issue — the bipartisan, marijuana legalization issue — the Republicans must come to us WITHOUT DEMANDS, only support. If they’re demanding concessions (and they are: they want our silence), they’re not on our side, regardless of their marketing approach.

    6. Anonymous says:

      November 8th 2016, a date that will live in infamy… After 50 years marijuana legalization becomes inevitable and unthinkable simultaneously.
      You can’t write this stuff..

    7. Mark Mitcham says:

      I doubt I will be the only one here to point out the well-know, actual fact: marijuana doesn’t promote violence, but marijuana prohibition does.

    8. Negative Nancy says:

      Now watch as Sessions directly engages in violence.

      Republican voters are psychotic sociopaths for enabling these criminals. Republicans aren’t so stupid that they can’t see the crime against America that Trump has perpetrated, but they pretend that they don’t.

      Cowards that they are, Republican politicians literally run and hide from their constituents at town-hall meetings.

      Shame on all of you pathetic ignoramuses. If the God you perpetually invoke actually exists, He is going to ensure that you burn in hell forever for what you are doing to America.

    9. csaaphill says:

      Jeff Sessions is the one in control of this and instead of just emailing people we also should email reps that we want it removed from the Schedule one Drug so we should do that too.

    10. JAY says:

      Sessions basically called out Congress to change the law or he’s coming after cannabis user.

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