Attorney General Sessions Still Hesitant on Cannabis Reform

Disclosure: In any review for a product or service, products or compensation may have been provided to me to help facilitate my review. All opinions are my own and honest. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Guidelines. Please see “Disclose” and "Terms of Use" tabs for more information.

U.S. Attorney General and former Alabama senator Jeff Sessions has been a thorn in cannabis activists’ side for decades. The ostracised member of the Trump Administration has been strongly against cannabis legalization and research for years, but now seems to be viewing the topic with a more open mind.

When speaking to a Senate panel in late April, Sessions admitted that there may be a justification for more cannabis research, saying that it was “perfectly appropriate to study” the herb. Sessions even now says that medical marijuana may have “some benefits.”

Unfortunately, the encouraging murmurs that Sessions made to the Senate panel about CBD drinks were balanced out by a rejection of existing research into the herb and inaccuracies when discussing America’s treaty obligations – the US is signed up to the UN’s 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Sessions is also reluctant to believe that Plain Jane CBD could have medical purposes, unsurprising after the decades he has put into opposing it.

An example of this was given in Sessions’ refusal to give credibility to studies showing that states with working medical cannabis programs have lower opioid overdose rates than those which don’t. The idea that cannabis could hold the key to ending, or at least controlling the opioid crisis was raised to Sessions by Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii.

The Attorney General said that while he has instructed staff to assess this research, he threw in the caveat that he doesn’t think any reduction in opioid overdoses will be sustained. Sessions used the American Medical Association’s (AMA) opposition to marijuana as the foundation of his argument.

But it seems that the AMA is more open to medical cannabis than it once was, releasing a study in April which shows that pharmaceutical drug use has declined in legalized states. The study concluded, therefore, that medical cannabis legislation is linked to a reduction in opioid prescriptions among the “Medicare Part D” group. States where dispensaries are allowed experienced an even greater fall in prescription drug use, with morphine and hydrocodone prescriptions declining the most.

It is now AMA policy to support cannabis research. The policy states that cannabis is antispasmodic, can enhance appetite and reduce pain sensation. All three of these properties are thanks to the effects of cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

CBD crystals activists and lawmakers did take something from Sessions’ comments though. Those who would simply like to see an increase in American cannabis research have grown frustrated at the unnecessary obstacles stopping these studies from taking place. These have stopped marijuana reform from progressing at the rate it could have and creates a vicious circle. Lawmakers say that they want to see more confirmation of cannabis’ medical potential before supporting it, yet without the studies, reaching that level of proof is difficult.

Speak Your Mind

*