Should we laugh or cry?
Comedian Stephen Colbert’s analogy hits the mark on the absurdity of Jeff Session’s cannabis views. Colbert was responding to the following Sessions comment about combatting violent crime:
I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. 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 awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.
Sessions’ comment about marijuana being sold in every corner store is fallacious, though cannabis being legalized and normalized enough to be sold in corner stores would not be such a bad thing anyway, so long as those sales are confined to adults. Further, any “suggestions” about marijuana’s ability to ease heroin addiction are based on scientific evidence. But what’s truly ridiculous about Sessions’ comments, and what Colbert is responding to in the above, is the notion that cannabis is only “slightly” less awful than heroin. Nobody has ever died of a cannabis overdose compared to the estimated 91 deaths per day from opioid overdoses. Cannabis is not chemically addictive. Cannabis can be used as medicine. Neither of those things can be said for heroin. Equating the two of them is a flat out lie and a harmful one at that as it minimizes our country’s massive heroin problem.
Comparing cannabis to heroin is like comparing a paper cut to a gunshot wound or a rain cloud to a monsoon. Not only are they not the same. Colbert gets it, but our country’s top attorney apparently does not.