Why Jeff Sessions’ Successor Could Be Worse for Drug Reform

Someday—perhaps someday very soon, judging by how often his boss is harassing him into obstructing justice, online—Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III will no longer be attorney general of the United States.

When Sessions goes, the U.S. will be different: An authoritarian embodiment of the Republicans’ Southern Strategy, who has no compunction against lying under oath about meetings with foreign agents trying to influence the democratic process, will no longer run the U.S. Justice Department.

That will be good!

Read more at High Times

Pot Matters: Deadly Drug Policies

The death rate for young Americans has increased by 8 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to a recent analysis by the Washington Post—and the driving force behind this increase is the current opioid epidemic.

From the Post: “Since the beginning of this decade, death rates have risen among people between the ages of 25 and 44 in virtually every racial and ethnic group and almost all states, according to a Washington Post analysis. The death rate among African Americans is up 4 percent, Hispanics 7 percent, whites 12 percent and Native Americans 18 percent. The rate for Asian Americans also has increased, but at a level that is not statistically significant.”

The Post looked at mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  For context, the 10 leading causes of death in 2015 were heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and suicide. These account for 74.2 percent of all deaths in the United States.

Read more at High Times

How Canada Figured Out How to Win the Drug War

So close yet so far apart. The United States and Canada have so much in common—except that our current governments are from different planets, especially when it comes to drug policy.

Examples: Lucie Charlebois, Québec’s Minister of Public Health, recently announced the opening in Montreal of two centers where people will be able to inject illicit drugs under a nurse’s supervision.

On that very same day, our Attorney General, Jeff Sessions directed prosecutors to seek the harshest possible charges in federal drug cases. Why? Because “drugs and crime go hand in hand,” said Sessions.

Read more at High Times

President Trump Compliments Leader Who Executes His Citizens for Drug Charges

If the latest comments and memos coming out of Attorney General Sessions’ Department of Justice didn’t raise concerns about the Trump Administration’s potential plans to reignite our nation’s failed war on drugs, his recent call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte should sound alarm bells.

A reminder: President Duterte has extrajudicially executed thousands of his own citizens on drug charges during his tenure leading the country.

The Washington Post received a transcript of the phone call and describes Trump’s comments on Duterte’s drug “policy” as follows:

Read more at NORML

The United Nations’ Stance on Cannabis

Countries pursuing cannabis reforms have been giving the United Nations something to think about when it comes to drug policy. The UN is an organization that was established to encourage and promote international cooperation on a variety of topics. When founded in 1945, only 51 countries were members, now, in 2017 193 of the 195 countries in the world are members. The mission of the United Nations is to maintain international peace, protect human rights, the environment, encourage social and economic development as well as provide humanitarian aid in times of crisis. Beyond those goals, the UN has also defined protocols influencing the framework of international drug policy.

In 1961, the UN adopted an international treaty called the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The treaty prohibits the production and supply of specific drugs. Earlier treaties criminalized opium, coca and derivatives of those compounds such as morphine, heroin and cocaine. It was during this convention that cannabis was similarly criminalized.

The United Nations did not create international laws, but instead provided a framework for governments across the world. It was the United Nation’s goal to monitor, support and oversee governments as they complied with the treaty. Since 1961, the United Nations has endeavored to address issues around illicit drugs, such as the increased prevalence.

Read more at Dope Magazine