An internal video from the Department of Justice shows Jeff Sessions candidly defending his marijuana policies to a group of interns.
The video, obtained by ABC News via the Freedom of Information Act, features Sessions taking questions on marijuana, gun control, police brutality and more. The video was filmed on June 25th of this year.
Of particular note is this exchange. One intern, contrasting Sessions’ harsh approach to marijuana sentencing with his far less strict approach to gun control, asked “since guns kill more people than marijuana, why lax laws on one and harsh laws on the other?”
Sessions laughed and described the two as “apples and oranges”. He then asked the intern if she had heard of the Second Amendment.
Sessions went on:
“There’s this view that marijuana is harmless, and it does no damage. I believe last year was the first year that automobile accidents that occurred were found to have been caused more by drugs than by alcohol…Marijuana is not a healthy substance in my opinion. The American Medical Association is crystal clear on that."
He asked the intern whether she believed that, to which she responded, "uhhh…I don’t." Sessions, rather dismissively, called her "Dr. Whatever-Your-Name-Is", and told her "you can write the AMA and see why they think otherwise".
Watch the exchange here. For what it's worth, the claim about car accidents is nowhere near as clear-cut as Sessions makes it sound. But that's hardly surprising coming from one of the nation's most visible prohibitionists.
In a later exchange, Sessions called the opioid crisis "a winnable battle". Sure - but it's going to be extremely difficult to win without sensible marijuana policy.