Lost among the hullabaloo about whether the Slingblade Hobbit was using racist dog whistles when describing the “Anglo-American” heritage of law enforcement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions complained to the National Sheriffs Association that he can’t get nominees past the Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who is blocking them until Sessions backs off his state’s legal marijuana program.
That includes, we are being blocked from confirming the head of the Criminal Division, the Civil Rights Division, National Security Division. These are critically important components. We’ve got outstanding nominees. Our nominee to the national security division, the anti-terrorism division, was approved unanimously in the community.
But because of sometimes, and one senator’s concerns over unrelated issues like reversing federal law against marijuana, we can’t even get a vote.
As Attorney General, I don’t have the authority to say something is legal if it is not legal. We need our nominees confirmed. Safety and security are important. And those of us gathered here know protecting the safety and security of the American people is the mission that we share.
Senator Gardner’s office was contacted by the Colorado Gazette, which relayed this comment from a spokesperson:
“Sen. Gardner’s holds on Justice nominees remain in place as he and our staff continue to talk with the Department of Justice and discuss a path forward which recognizes Colorado’s state’s rights and ensures law enforcement has the authority and tools needed to protect our communities,” said Gardner press secretary Casey Contres.
“These discussions continue to be necessary, and we appreciate their willingness to have them. Sen. Gardner is also working with a bipartisan group of senators from across the political spectrum, and they continue to look at ways Congress can take action to preserve states’ rights.”
As part of the gathering of sheriffs, there was a roundtable featuring a few of them with Donald Trump. Tampa, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd, president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, was one of those sheriffs. After the event, he took time to spew all the marijuana-gateway-drug-theory he could to Tampa’s WFTS-TV:
“Every person I’ve ever asked that has a drug addiction problem, I would ask them intentionally ‘what was your drug of choice that set you on this path?’ Marijuana. Every time, marijuana,” Judd said.
He went on to say that when you look at all the drugs killing people and contributing to drug related deaths, “leaving marijuana out of the recipe would be a horrible mistake.”
Remember when I said the Trump Administration and its law enforcement sycophants were going to keep pushing the gateway drug theory to tie marijuana to the deadly opioid overdose crisis?