Attorney General Jeff Sessions ramped his anti-marijuana campaign up to conspiracy theory levels this week when he told a crowd at the Heritage Foundation that the opioid crisis is being fueled by people who use marijuana. Not only is this not true whatsoever, it shows that Jeff Sessions will not be taking this public health crisis seriously. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


This week the Heritage Foundation held a massive birthday celebration to celebrate Ronald Reagan’s birthday. I believe it would have been his 106th birthday. At that birthday party Attorney General Jeff Sessions was present and he gave a little speech. Rather than talk about Reagan or any of the horrible tax cuts that he enacted that Republicans are emulating today, he decided to do a throwback to the Reagan era war on drugs. The Just Say No Campaign, because according to Jeff Sessions there’s no bigger issue in the world than marijuana.

What Jeff Sessions said at that little meeting is something that should concern every single person in this country. Jeff Sessions, in front of that crowd, said that the opiod crisis in the United States is being made worse by marijuana. Somehow, in Jeff Sessions’ tiny little brain, it is marijuana users who are somehow fueling the opiod crisis in the United States. We can’t tackle opioids unless we get rid of the marijuana, which is why he’s going after states with legalized marijuana. He’s going after medical marijuana dispensaries. He’s trying to get rid of marijuana because he thinks, or at least he’s telling us that he thinks, that’s going to help us with opiod crisis.

Unfortunately for Jeff Sessions there is literally no information whatsoever to back that up. All of the available information actually refutes everything Jeff Sessions said. In areas with legalized marijuana and legalized medical marijuana, the rate of opiod abuse and addiction and usage is actually far lower than in places where marijuana’s illegal.

People are choosing medical marijuana over addictive, deadly opiod painkillers when the option is available to them. Marijuana is helping to solve the opiod crisis and yet Jeff Sessions wants to do away with this medical marijuana, which is going to create even more opiod addicts here in the United States. The opiod addiction is not being fueled by marijuana. The opiod addiction is being fueled by big pharma’s greed. Their internal documents show it.

There were documents from Purdue, the maker of Oxycontin, when it was talking about people getting addicted to it and how many pills they were selling, that said, “It’s payday in the neighborhood.” They were so excited that people were getting addicted to these pills because they knew it was going to result in massive paydays for them. They are responsible for the opiod crisis in the United States, not medical marijuana users, or even recreational marijuana users.

Jeff Sessions does not understand the cause of this crisis or at least he’s choosing to not understand the cause of this crisis, and as such he’s not somebody that any of us should trust to take this public health emergency seriously.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced