On Thursday, October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump announced on a private event declaring the opioid crisis a “nationwide public health emergency”. The event was held in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C.
He also stated that “as American’s we cannot allow this to continue”.
The current opioid crisis had been considered a scourge that, according to statistics, kills approximately 100 Americans a day. The declaration, which lasts for 90 days and is renewable, comes with no dedicated dollars, according to Administration officials. Rather, the declaration will allow them to use already existing funds to fight the crisis better. They also said that they will urge Congress to add more cash to an unreplenished public health emergency fund during the annual end-of-the-year budget negotiations.
Attorney General Blames Opioid Crisis on Cannabis
At a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation just across town from the White House, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions blatantly blames cannabis as the cause of the current Opioid
Crisis in the country. He advises Americans to heed the advice of former First Lady Nancy Reagan back in the 80’s to “just say no” to drugs.
“I do think this whole country needs not be so lackadaisical about drugs.” Sessions said in the forum. He also added that “When you talk to police chiefs, consistently they say much of addiction starts with marijuana.”
He also added that we as Americans needs to “re-establish, first, a view that you should say no” as well as stating that “people should say no to drugs.” However, the said 80’s reference has its own history, with entire school districts abandoning the program and even a 1994 study that concluded that such actions were ineffective.
Sessions, a long-time known opposition regarding marijuana legalization also stated about how several U.S. states who have moved towards marijuana decriminalization are still under Federal law.
“I do not believe there is any argument that because a state legalizes marijuana that the federal law against marijuana is no longer existence,” he said. “I do believe that the federal laws clearly are in effect in all 50 states, and we will do our best to enforce the laws as we are required to do so.”
Persecution Against all Evidence
Even though Sen. Orrin Hatch, a respected, conservative, Republican Senator talked about the “possible benefits of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids” last September, yesterdays attack against cannabis usage, both medical and recreational, is simply biased and uncalled for.
Sessions blatant accusation of cannabis as the primary suspect in the opioid crisis personifies Sen Hatch’s statement made last month that in our zeal to enforce the law, we too often blind ourselves to the medicinal benefits of natural substances like cannabis.”
Sessions, as well as other politicians who oppose the legalization of medical marijuana, should heed Sen Hatch’s statement regarding the MEDS act:
“Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”