Nobody has ever died of a marijuana overdose - even the DEA admits that. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions can make marijuana lethal by enforcing capital punishment for drug traffickers (which Sessions is already threatening to do).
Under federal law, there is a provision allowing capital punishment in drug trafficking cases that involve "extremely large quantities of drugs," regardless of whether any violent crimes took place as part of the illegal trade. According to the law, you could face the death penalty if you get caught with 60 kilograms of heroin, 24 kilograms of fentanyl or a mere 600 grams of LSD.
For marijuana, the amount that would trigger capital punishment is 60,000 kilograms. That might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that some legal states allow licensed cultivators to grow over 60,000 plants. So the 60,000 kg threshold isn't unrealistic for them to cross.
But while state-licensed growers are susceptible to capital punishment, they probably won't be given the death penalty, according to Tamar Todd - Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance.
“The Supreme Court has never upheld the death penalty for a crime that did not involve death,” Todd recently told Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post.
Still, the very thought that capital punishment is on the table for Sessions - who actually thinks marijuana is "only slightly less awful" than heroin - is unsettling enough to make cannabis cultivators lose sleep. Especially since Sessions called on prosecutors to pursue the death penalty in cases against drug traffickers earlier this month.
That call was directed at dealers involved in the sale of fentanyl, heroin and other drugs that are fueling the opioid epidemic in America, so it's unlikely that Sessions would try to enforce the death penalty against members of the cannabis industry. Then again, the attorney general has been blaming the opioid epidemic on cannabis, so the idea of giving lethal injections to marijuana farmers isn't crazy by Sessions' standards.