Html”>cracking down on medical and recreational cannabis. Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Committee on Rules, asked the health professionals assembled at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region VI Opioid Summit at UT Southwestern to provide him with advice on ending the crisis. Sessions promised that he would bring any potential solutions before Congress and ensure that the necessary funding would be added to next month’s budget bill.
During his speech, Rep. Sessions twice changed the topic of conversation to argue against the legalization of cannabis, even though none of the preceding speakers at the conference identified cannabis as a risk factor for opioid abuse. The Congressman falsely claimed that marijuana use leads individuals to opioid addiction, and that the medical community should take a stand against medical cannabis in order to stop the spread of opioid abuse.
“If it were nicotine, it would have been outlawed,” the Congressman added, then corrected himself after realizing that nicotine is in fact fully legal despite well-proven health risks: “Well, it would have been handled differently. “
Sessions’ comments echo Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ constant tirade against cannabis legalization. As recently as last month, the Attorney General said that the opioid crisis “is starting with marijuana and other drugs. ” Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, now the head of Trump’s White House commission on opioids, has consistently argued that legal weed is leading to increased opioid abuse.
As usual, Christie was completely incorrect regarding this claim. Gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/marijuana-gateway-drug”>actually written that “the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.
Fortunately, not everyone in Congress believes the gateway drug myth. Blumenauer will be using this fund to campaign against several anti-pot Congresspeople who are up for re-election this year, including Rep. Pete Sessions.