Carnes: Sessions repealing weed, booze and colored votes … kidding, sort of (column)
January 8, 2018
Editor's note: Find a cited version of this column at http://www.vaildaily.com.
Yes, a little hyperbole to start your day.
The party of small government and states' rights (as long as the rights of the states don't include women's body parts or two people who love each other being allowed to marry) is now attempting to reverse a 2013 federal policy of not interfering with states that vote to legalize the evil weed.
The "Don't tread on me" party has become the "Go ahead, tread away, sure, whatever …" party.
But why, you ask, would the federal government do such a thing, especially after the "stable genius" in the White House agreed the issue should remain with the states?
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But the answer is simple: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a walking time warp from the good ol' days when puritanical religious hypocrites ruled society, claiming cannabis was the devil's smoke, booze was the devil's drink, dancing was the devil's sexual steps and African-Americans voting was almost as bad as women attempting to do the same.
It's obvious Sessions has a bee in his Alabama bonnet and his Keebler knickers in a twist over this pathological preoccupation with pot.
Well sure, get the man an OxyContin drip 'cuz we need to tackle this insipid munchie epidemic before Cheech and Chong bring the nation to its knees.
And speaking of opioids, the National Center for Health Statistics lists more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, with the majority of those due directly to opioid painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet and non-methadone synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
So even though the official number of cannabis deaths is equal to the official number of unicorn stabbings, our nation's top cop is fixated on stopping adults from getting legally high instead of prosecuting those involved with killing more Americans each year than were killed in Vietnam.
But not to worry, as this pest in the weed garden is being blasted by both sides of the political aisle. Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use, with more than 20 others saying "Dude!" to medicinal use.
States' rights are basically local rights, meaning the rights of us — the people — and are in place thanks to the oft-maligned and for some reason still debated 10th Amendment, which reserves all powers not delegated to the federal government to the states.
Sure, there are a few who will support Sessions' position as simply enforcing federal law, which is his job, but they're avoiding the cultural elephant in the room, which is an ever-growing avalanche of support for nationwide legalization of marijuana.
That ship has sailed, the train has left the station, the THC is in the system and there is no turning back. State by state, the people have spoken, and that is exactly how a democracy (constitutional republic for the anal-retentive) is supposed to work.
Even our very own Republican Sen. Cory Gardner pledges to "take all steps necessary" to allow the reefer madness to continue, so I suppose it's really not the GOP shouldering the blame.
It's just one of their top representatives.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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