According to two elected officials from Washington state have a bone to pick with Attorney General Jeff Sessions—namely this succinct headline: “Jeff Sessions Using Fake Stats for Anti-Weed Agenda.” Yep, that’s right. Sessions, one of the Trump administration’s more notable henchmen, is using fake statistics and data for his personal anti-weed agenda.
Both Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson released statements to the public last week respectively in reaction to the AG’s erroneous blabber. Or rather, specifically to commentary Sessions made in July concerning falsified information he used to note the influence of cannabis legalization in the state.
So what exactly is going on?
Sessions’ Myths Versus Actual Facts
The issue seems to stem from a letter on safety regulations and Washington’s legal cannabis industry at large. In the notice, Sessions attacked local lawmakers with a report from the Northwest High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, which argues that legalization has led to an increase in illegal trafficking. As Inslee cited, however, this claim is probably more false than not. (It should be noted that NHIDTA is notorious for producing sketchy data.)
“It is clear that our goals regarding health and safety are in step with the goals Attorney General Sessions has articulated,” Inslee’s statement said. “Unfortunately, he is referring to incomplete and unreliable data that does not provide the most accurate snapshot of our efforts since the marketplace opened in 2014.”
Despite the fact that a 140-page report written by Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper repudiated the idea of an uptick regarding drug abuse or delinquency among adolescents. The study, which was published in 2012 included data from agencies in six different states.
This isn’t the first time Sessions has cried wolf over cannabis legalization and decriminalization. His anti-cannabis prerogatives can be traced back as far as February of this year. The root of the matter? The attorney general’s assemblage of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. The task force has been called a harbinger for a Draconian clamp down on legalization in the U.S since his inauguration.
Final Hit: Jeff Sessions Using Fake Stats for Anti-Weed Agenda
What it boils down to in the end is policy based on fact. Even more so, it comes to policy based on the wants of the constituency—not unsupported opinion. (Or a biased sense of morality, for that matter.)
“Misleading information does not produce good policy,” Ferguson told VICE News in an interview. “If Attorney General Sessions is willing to review the complete, current, and accurate data, he will see Washington state’s system is meeting federal priorities.”
As of the publication of this article, the Department of Justice has not issued a statement on the issue. But feel free to spread our headline to him, and say it once again with us now: “Jeff Sessions Using Fake Stats for Anti-Weed Agenda.”