"And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana - so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that's only slightly less very bad". At one point, President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, asked if anyone had anything else to offer and an exchange took place about whether Native American areas would be included in the new violent crime initiatives.
Recalling his own time as an assistant USA attorney in Alabama, Sessions said "the people in those communities were pleading with us to.get the thugs off the street". According to 2014 Census data, more young black high school dropouts are in prison than have jobs. "But it was handled in a way that was disrespectful to the USA attorneys because they were nearly treated as though they had done something wrong, when in fact they had not". "Lives are at stake, and we're not going to worry about being fashionable". But rather than understanding that his outdated views were "unfashionable" because they aren't based in facts and reality, Sessions instead appears to be taking the view that he knows best, and would impose his beliefs on the rest of the country.
Under federal law, when a US attorney resigns, the top assistant takes over as acting USA attorney until a successor is named.
In contrast, the CDC webpage for heroin specifies that the drug is "highly addictive" and that overdose can cause shallow breathing, coma, and death.
"I've heard people say we could solve our heroin problem with marijuana".
Sessions said in the short run, police and prosecutors must pick up arrests of drug dealers, but in the long run, he believes addiction treatment and prevention will turn things around.
Contrary to Sessions' fearmongering over cannabis, however, a new report published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence last month found opioid hospitalizations decreased in states that allowed medical marijuana.
"Educating people and telling them the awful truth about drugs and addiction will result in better choices. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life". Sessions told reporters he was "sensitive to these issues", but that most people in low-income African American neighborhoods want tough criminal penalties.