U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions. Photo via Wikimedia.

Politics & Government

Pete Sessions Does Not Want Anyone Smoking Weed, Ever

A new Politico story details how the North Dallas congressman has waged a personal crusade against the reform of federal marijuana laws.

Politico ran a story this week on “Washington’s most powerful anti-pot official,” one Rep. Pete Sessions, representing much of northern Dallas County and working to thwart the legalization of that sticky green, medicinal or otherwise.

Sessions has quietly waged his war on reefer even as public support for legalizing marijuana has grown, in Texas and elsewhere. Politico notes that this could be used against him as he prepares to defend his congressional seat against a Democratic challenger this fall. Along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions (no relation), the congressman may be the biggest human barrier to the reform of federal marijuana laws.

What Pete Sessions has, however, that Jeff Sessions doesn’t have is the power to change laws. Very quietly, but with implacable efficiency, Pete Sessions has used his position as the chair of the House Rules Committee to stymie or roll back amendments that protected legal marijuana in the 29 states that have approved it (30 states if you count Louisiana). States that have grown increasingly dependent on tax revenue from newly legal marijuana businesses, and investors who are pumping millions into an industry that is projected to hit $28 billion globally by 2024, have sought assurances that federal authorities wouldn’t try to invoke national drug law that still classifies marijuana as one of the most serious of all illegal drugs. Short of changing federal drug law, legislators in the states with forms of legal pot have sought the next best protection: using the power of the purse to curtail enforcement. But Sessions, with the approval of House leadership, has thwarted his colleagues. He neutralized one amendment that sailed through with a comfortable bipartisan majority and smothered others that would pass if they were ever allowed to see the light of day.

So far, the only people who have complained are the legislators whose amendments he has torpedoed and pro-marijuana lobbyists. That criticism has never troubled Sessions in his 21-year career (representing two districts). But recent polling indicates that 83 percent of Texas voters now favor legalizing medical marijuana, and that seems to be feeding a nascent campaign to use Sessions’ anti-marijuana influence against him in the 2018 midterm election. Even some Texas Republicans think his zealousness on the issue violates essential conservative principles of less government. “He’s got this personal viewpoint; he’s just personally against it. And there’s nothing that’s going to change his mind,” said Zoe Russell, of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP). “That’s the absolute worst of big government.”

Read the rest of the story.

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Dining

Dining

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments

  • A Freedom Fighter

    It’s absolutely clear that cannabis is far safer than alcoholic beverages, tobacco products or pharmaceutical drugs and yet some of our politicians like Pete Sessions would rather bend over for corporate interests than serve the will of the people who elected them. Make no mistake alcoholic beverage, private prison and pharmaceutical drug corporations do not want cannabis legalized and spend millions of dollars lining the pockets of public officials and running negative advertising.

    Figures from the Center for Disease Control on numbers of deaths per year in the USA:

    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 480,000
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 7,200
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems.

    So, which is safer???? Legalize, regulate and TAX!

  • jontomas

    I don’t want rabid bigot, Pete Sessions, to have any power over the lives of anyone – ever!

    Tom Angell describes his latest knife in the back of justice:

    >>>”Despite a renewed congressional move to shield medical marijuana patients and businesses following state laws from federal prosecution, a powerful House committee late Wednesday night blocked an amendment to extend the protections to cover broader recreational legalization policies.”

    “The U.S. House Rules Committee voted on party lines to prevent the measure, offered by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) from advancing to the floor for a vote.”

    “Ninety-five percent of the country lives in an area that has some kind of legal marijuana,” Polis said in introducing his amendment. “Study after study shows that having a well-regulated marijuana market can decrease underage use, bankrupt drug cartels and criminals, reduce violent crime, increase tax revenues…”

    “The House came just nine flipped votes short of passing the broader recreational protections on the House floor in 2015. Since then, the number of states with legalization has more than doubled, and many more lawmakers who now represent constituents who would be affected by the measure would feel more pressure to support it. But [Sessions’ committee] consistently blocked votes on the matter.”

    What kind of evil person sets himself against justice and most Americans, determined to continue the monstrous persecution of millions of good citizens?

    In March 2016, Sessions introduced a House resolution to “recognize magic as a rare and valuable art form and national treasure.”

    He voted against disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, but voted FOR it when a hurricane hit HIS state of Texas.

    He voted against the Economic Stimulus Act of 2009, which was developed in response to the Great Recession and sought to save existing jobs and create new ones as soon as possible.

    Sessions attacked the independent, nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), saying that the office was “a political witch hunt” and publicly defended a House Republican plan to dismantle the OCE; the plan was abandoned after a public uproar.

    Sessions opposes federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. – In February 2017, he voted to repeal the Stream Protection Rule. – in 2017, Sessions sponsored a bill to delay, for nine years, the full implementation of 2015 ozone standards set by the Environmental Protection.

    Sessions voted against extending the benefits of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program to 2-4 million children in 2007 and 6 million children in 2008.

    He voted in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He voted to ban homosexuals from adopting children in the District of Columbia.

    Sessions has voted against four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.

    Sessions voted to reverse a Federal Communications Commission privacy rule that prevented internet service providers from selling their customers’ browsing data.

    Sessions voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. He voted against legislation to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Nice guy, eh?

  • MikeParent

    Here’s what a true Conservative said;
    “Narcotics police (Prohibitionists) are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.” – William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1988

  • ImOpining

    Alcohol is legal and kills many. Pot should be legalized and the government could use the tax money on other project. People could get jobs in the cannabis industry and would pay taxes from their wages that the government could use on other projects as well. Maybe Trump could legalize it and build his wall.

  • Michael L. Wallace Jr.

    Marijuana was the Best drug for everything worldwide for 100’s of years. Marijuana was first made illegal in the USA with Lies (Reefer Madness). Then America encouraged other countries to do the same with the same Lies. The Truth was Marijuana was made illegal to eradicate the Non Psychoactive Industrial Hemp Plant. Solely for the Purpose of Profits for Crude Oil Manufactures, Petroleum Plastic Corporations, Synthetic Drug Companies, Cotton Investors, Lumber & Paper Mills. Which really Poisoned our People & Planet. Marijuana Prohibition Deprived our bodies important Endocannabinoid Systems of necessary Cannabinoids. Which threw our bodies homeostasis out of whack & created many new illnesses. Now after many years of cannabinoid deficient parents later. Children are being born with & early developing horrible illnesses, Mental health conditions & Cancers. It would not be a stretch to say that most illnesses of today relieved by marijuana are caused by cannabinoid deficiency. Excessive recreational alcohol enables random violence, suicides, vehicular homicide, domestic violence, child abuse, date rape & the use of Harder Drugs. Recreational Marijuana is 100% SAFER than alcohol. Medical Marijuana requires we develop illnesses like cancers before getting medicine. Recreational Marijuana can prevent cancer growth from developing. We can’t prove Pete Session is profiting from marijuana Prohibition because of his Anonymity. But there is NO DOUBT that he practices in promoting Torture & Premeditated Murder everyday fight against Marijuana Legalization. Marijuana was / is / will always be “The CURE”.