When Trump announced Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, a known supporter of prohibition and the war on drugs with an extremely anti-cannabis stance, as his nominee for Attorney General it sparked a lot of talk and worry amongst the growing community of those living in states with legal access to marijuana. While medical marijuana, for now, is protected under a series of spending bills, the same cannot be said for the existing statewide recreational industries currently running in 4 states, with 4 more set to join them by 2018. As a way of trying to make a statement and at least be heard by the Senator, a group of activists went to visit him at his office in D.C.
The group was made up of at least twenty activists and advocates, including many who have worked on campaigns to legalize marijuana. They were invited into Sessions office so that they could share their stories of medical marijuana and it’s multitude of benefits and some of the negative impacts of prohibition. Among the twenty different activists, two had managed to sneak some bud in with them, past Capitol Hill’s security, in their socks. One wore it on his suit jacket, while rolling a joint right there in his office, the other laying it out on a table as though to display it.
“If you’re not going to arrest people in your own office who bring marijuana… why would you break down people’s doors as a federal policy?” D.C. Cannabis Campaign organizer Adam Eidinger asked.
This was actually a follow-up visit, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign had already visited Sessions office once before when he was out – during that visit they had presented a red t-shirt that said “Great Americans evolve their positions on cannabis policy”, while sharing similar stories and requesting a second meeting – which they didn’t end up waiting for. When the group came back this week, the two who brought the cannabis with them knew they were risking arrest (while cannabis is legal in D.C. it is still illegal on federal grounds). Surprisingly, Sessions did not call police, who would have handled it under federal law. Instead, he let it slide and heard them out – while declining their offer to partake in the joint that had been rolled.
“We can’t idly sit by and watch all the hard work we’ve done to legalize cannabis in D.C. be eroded by an out of touch prohibitionist!” the organizers wrote on their website.
By the end of their meeting, the group had at least managed to have their conversation with the Senator – and while it is unlikely it changed his views at all, at least he gave them the respect of being heard out. In the end, all they are asking is that if he does indeed become the next AG that he continues with the same hands-off approach that was seen with the Obama Administration – rather than continuing to defend the war on drugs. The group intends to hold a smoke-out protest prior to Sessions being appointed Attorney General, and are going to continue to take action to attempt to keep him out of office.