Truth: in 1000 words or less
by Steven A. Craig
Let’s Start a Sessions
If I was initially terrified of what a Trump presidency might mean for this great nation, I must acknowledge that those fears have subsided. Since he has taken the reins of the executive branch, I have found something far more troublesome to concern myself with: his Cabinet. Holy Back-handed Ineptitude, Batman! Have you ever seen a like parade of incompetent nitwits who are hell-bent on destroying the very agencies they have been named to serve? Betsy DeVos, who constantly looks alarmed at the very notion that American students might become more knowledgeable than she is, has spent her entire career taking aim at the very public schools she is now in charge of, arguing instead to allow the system to collapse for the sake of the privileged few being allowed to take their money out and give it instead to private institutions serving the wealthy. Scott Pruitt, now the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has sued the agency repeatedly for, you know, doing their job and protecting us from unregulated oil drilling on American soil. And I literally shake myself to sleep at night with the recurring vision of Rick Perry being in charge of the nuclear arsenal as the head of the Department of Energy, a department he once wanted to argue for the dissolution of at a national debate, but “oops”, his inept brain could not even remember the name of it. Donald Trump isn’t draining the swamp; he’s pouring toxic sludge right into it.
But as egregious as all of these picks have been, none hold a candle to Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for Attorney General. We all might know a bit more about just how racist Jeff Sessions is if Mitch McConnell hadn’t kept Elizabeth Warren from reading Loretta Scott King’s letter about him, but suffice it to say, he’s a bigot even by Alabama standards. This man has spent a lifetime unravelling the constitutional protections offered to people of all backgrounds through such vital, ground-breaking measures as the Voters Right Act of 1965, a piece of legislation Sessions himself labeled as “intrusive” when questioning just how his office could possibly enforce it going forward. Well, if it was going to be that hard, Jeff, perhaps you shouldn’t have taken the job in the first place and left it instead to the professionals.
But there is one thing Sessions does appear more than ready to enforce: the federal law prohibiting the sale or distribution of marijuana, even in states that have taken measures for its legalization. Soon after stepping into the office of Attorney General, Sessions hinted at a crackdown on legal marijuana in the eight states and District of Columbia which allow the sale of recreational marijuana, saying, “States, they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say, it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” And if that line alone did not rouse all you stoners out there hanging out on your couches, complacent with the notion that the weed you keep smoking will stay legal going forward, his follow-up comments will, “I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we’re going to have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store.”
First of all, Jeff, weed is not sold at grocery stores. It’s not on display between the Cheetos and Wheat Thins, though you do have admit the product placement couldn’t be any better if it was. And stop bullshitting us. Apparently states, in your view, CANNOT pass laws they choose. This is yet another nonsensical, contradictory hypocrisy of the Republican party. They are all for touting the need to respect state sovereignty as long as it involves issues they know they can’t win on a national level like abortion. But where is that same outrage for state rights when it comes to the numerous states that have legalized marijuana? If right-wing fundamental constitutionalists like Scalia had any balls or integrity, they would concede that this issue needs to be left up to the states to decide for themselves.
Because that is the direction this nation is heading whether they like it or not. In 2016, medical marijuana became legal in just over half the states, with several states joining Colorado and Washington in allowing its recreational use. Moreover, this is clearly an indication of what Americans want. While Gallup poll numbers suggest that the number of adults favoring legalizing marijuana for purely recreational purposes was only 12% in 1969, it has since grown to a 60% acceptance rate. But Jeff Sessions and his conservative buddies are stuck in 1969, which would also explain Sessions’s views on black people. My guess is he wants us to go back to segregated drinking fountains as well.
And it is just that backwards ass thinking that will sink the Republicans in the next election cycle. Most of the people I know down the middle don’t give a damn whether weed is legal or not, but they sure like the potential tax revenue it generates. Colorado alone recently passed one billion dollars in marijuana sales with all of that tax revenue going to much-needed social improvements like schools and roads rather than lining the pockets of illegal drug cartels. But Jeff Sessions would much rather see us continue to spend taxpayers’ money enforcing outdated drug laws than reap the rewards of moving forward with a drug policy that is more truly reflective of the perspectives of the American people. And yet, this is supposed to be the party of wise fiscal management? Hmmmm….
So here’s to hoping the American people wake up in 2018 and 2020 and hold these hypocritical bastards’ feet to the fire for ignoring the will of the American people and further crippling our sagging economy, all for the sake of their hangups regarding weed. I think I should send Jeff Sessions a joint. He’s going to need it when he finds out he’s unemployed.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: in 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com