Many senators and members of Congress have attempted to sway Attorney General Jeff Sessions' mind about marijuana by citing stats and studies. But one senator has a new approach.
New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote a letter to Sessions on Sunday in which she proposed that the two of them sit down with victims of the War on Drugs. The hope is by hearing how marijuana prohibition laws have led to terrible effects for many people, primarily those in minority communities, the Attorney General may see the issue in a new light.
“I am requesting a meeting with individuals and myself whose lives have been irreparably harmed because of non-violent marijuana arrests,” Gillibrand wrote in the letter to Sessions. “The effects of these arrests and convictions last a lifetime. Men and women who were incarcerated are unable to vote, do not qualify for public housing, and have difficulty finding employment. The stigma associated with these arrests stifles future opportunities for a generation of black Americans. While this country cannot erase die damage caused by 40 years of policies designed to target black Americans, we can implement new policies that will reverse some of their harsh consequences.”
Of course, Sessions isn't really known for giving the marijuana issue any real evaluation. And it also probably won't matter if Sessions meets victims of the War on Drugs, considering he's previously said, "Good people don't smoke marijuana."
Gillibrand has been one of the most outspoken politicians on marijuana legalization in recent months. She's co-sponsored fellow Democratic senator Cory Booker's marijuana legalization bill, and has spoken out against Sessions' many times. Many experts believe she's a likely candidate for president in 2020, and that her support on the issue is a way to make inroads with progressive voters.
If she can somehow convince Sessions that marijuana isn't so bad, then she'll probably deserve some votes.
(h/t Marijuana Moment)