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7 Things We Learned From Time’s Creepy Jeff Sessions Cover Story

March 29, 2018
Rule #1: Don't upstage the boss. (TIME, April 9, 2018 issue)
President Trump’s day probably won’t be brightened by the issue of Time magazine that just dropped. On the cover: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, captured in all his ghoulish glory by photographer Philip Montgomery. The tagline: “Nobody’s Above the Law,” a direct quote from the AG himself.

This didn’t end well. (TIME, Feb. ’17)

Two things we know:

  1. Few things delight Trump more than seeing himself on the cover of Time, which he considers one of the highest honors available to any human living or dead.
  2. Few things irritate him more than seeing one of his employees receive the same honor. He’s the boss, they are not, and spotlight-stealing is a fireable offense. See under: Bannon, Stephen K.

Sessions is arguably the single most powerful person in the cannabis world. His decisions have the power to affect more than 149,000 legal cannabis jobs and millions of American lives.

So, in the interest of saving you, the follower of all news Sessions-ish, time and aggravation, we read the entire TIME cover story and came up with these salient takeaways.

1. Steve Bannon wanted Sessions to run for President in 2013

Great googly moogly! Perish the thought. “Bannon was inspired by Sessions’ insistence that restricting immigration and trade could be a political winner.” Fortunately for the cannabis world, Sessions declined to pursue a candidacy.

2. Trump has never forgiven him for allowing the appointment of Robert Mueller.

“In public and private,” Time national political correspodent Molly Ball writes, “the President has denigrated the proud former Senator, calling him an ‘idiot,’ ‘beleaguered’ and ‘disgraceful.’” Which is funny, because Ball fails to mention Trump’s characterization of Sessions as Mr. Magoo, a far more vibrant and sticky designation.

Related

The Roll-Up #23: Oh Magoo, You’ve Done It Again

3. His fellow cabinet member Scott Pruitt has been angling to replace him.

With jolly colleagues like this, who needs frenemies? This must rankle Sessions, who clearly loves serving as attorney general, and who must know Pruitt sees the AG position as simply a stepping stone to his ultimate goal: A run at the presidency in 2024.

4. Even his toughest critics don’t want him fired because of Mueller.

“The Justice Department is supposed to be protecting people, keeping people safe and affirming our basic rights,” says Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act. “But he has rolled back the Justice Department’s efforts to do that.” Even so, Booker says, it wouldn’t be right for Trump to fire him over the Russia investigation. “Jeff Sessions is not acting in defense of the rights of Americans. He should not be in that job. But I do not think he should be fired for the reasons Donald Trump would fire him.”

Related

Death Penalty for Drugs? Trump Makes the Loser’s Choice in Opioid Fight

5. He views drug treatment as not only ineffective, but dangerous.

After listening to a room full of people whose loved ones had been killed by drug overdoses, Sessions told them that “we need treatment, but it is true that a lot of people it doesn’t work for.” Emphasizing drug treatment, Sessions says, sends the wrong signal. What’s causing all the problem, he believes, is a general lackadaisical attitude. “The extraordinary surge in addiction and drug death is a product of a popular misunderstanding of the dangers of drugs,” he says. “Because all too often, all we get in the media is how anybody who’s against drugs is goofy, and we just ought to chill out.”

Even as he said this, Sessions’ own Justice Department was prosecuting the founder of Insys, maker of the deadly drug fentanyl, for racketeering. The DOJ has charged John Kapoor with “leading a nationwide conspiracy to profit by using bribes and fraud to cause the illegal distribution of a Fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients experiencing breakthrough pain.” The DOJ also continues to investigate the role that OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma has played in America’s opioid overdose epidemic.

Related

This Medical Cannabis Researcher Explains How Marijuana Can Combat the Opioid Epidemic

6. Sessions thinks putting more people in prison is the only thing that works.

America’s mass incarceration crisis doesn’t need reform, Sessions believes; it needs more prisoners and more prisons. “This whole mentality that there’s another solution other than incarceration,” he says, “all I will say to you is, people today don’t know that every one of these [alternatives to mass incarceration] has been tried over the last 40 years.” Worth noting: The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world. We also have one of the highest opioid use rates.

7. His “above the law” quote wasn’t a shot at Trump, but…

 …the President may consider it so. Ball ends her profile with fresh quote, which would be innocuous in just about any other context: “Congress passes a law, judges follow the law, and nobody’s above the law, including the judges, and including the President.” Given the ever-tightening Mueller investigation, however, it’s easy to imagine Trump taking that “including the President” phrase as a knife in the back.

Related

Sessions Advisor Ramping up Drug War, Profiting From Drug Tests

Bruce Barcott's Bio Image

Bruce Barcott

Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott oversees news, investigations, and feature projects. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and author of Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America.

View Bruce Barcott's articles

  • 24 Hour Man

    Jeff S. needs to be water-boarded

    • Jeffrey Avery

      with an enema bottle up his arss

  • Jay Hansen

    Jefferson Beauregard Davis KKKeebler Fudd Secessions, the Turd.

  • realjas

    Why does anyone give him a cover story that isn’t titled, “Uninformed moron makes moronic comment on things he isn’t informed on” ?

    • ALAN GANN

      HERE, HERE!!! #MakeCannabisLawful

      • Danny Carbona

        it’s “hear hear”, bruh

        • ALAN GANN

          YOU ARE RIGHT THANK YOU!! NO ONE IS RIGHT ALL THE TIME, BUT YOU FORGOT THE COMMA IN THE MIDDLE WHICH MAKES IT ALSO WRONG TOO!! “HEAR, HEAR”!! AGAIN THANKS!!

          • William

            You funny…:-)

  • Chad Beausoleil

    Put more people in prisons says the man who has investments with the privatized prison system. Please tell me how Marijuana is bad while you sip your Kentucky burbon and smoke your cigarettes. Death penalty for drug offenses…ok, I get it for things like Meth, and fetanyl…but Cannabis…sounds like little man is on an ego trip. Keep it up Elmer….

  • lovingc

    Mueller hurry up!

    • Hedda Hopper

      Yet another fool.

      • lovingc

        Go back to hell where you belong idiot!

      • William

        If you are not doing anything, just watch. Mueller is no fool. There are a lot of good Americans, even in Washington D.C.; politics is a criminal business, yes, but, and good Americans everywhere will prevail. You know, the hundreds of millions who live in the home of the brave and the land of the free, with justice, liberty, the pursuit of happiness; all those American values. Have faith, the kids get it, and the future is in their hands. And they will have the technology to fix things. (I know- or destroy). And they are refusing corruption (we”ll see, I know). And Mr. Mueller, and many, many more people in “the system” will see to it that the rule of American law will prevail. It’s a slow and sloppy system, and it works. It’s the only one we have, in case you haven’t been looking, that addresses the most good for the most people. That’s how it’s supposed to work, and will again.

    • William

      It’s Mueller Time.

  • FlunkedAgain

    Sessions said: “”“Congress passes a law, judges follow the law, and nobody’s above the law, including the judges, and including the President.”””

    The Law isn’t above the People.

    With a Corrupt Government skewed by packing the Legislature through the art of the Gerrymander, the People have a Right and a Duty to use their Nuclear Option, Jury Nullification.

    • William

      A+ this time. Don’t forget the money/lobbyishitst.

  • THOMAS DUDLEY

    IMO, politics will shift in the pro cannabis direction.

  • “Frenchy” Badeaux

    The “War on Drugs” is an unjust war based on the premise that the government has the right to tell me what I can and cannot put inside my own body, therefore anyone associated with this war is, by definition, a war criminal. By this standard, Jeff Sessions, (and everyone else even remotely associated with this war), should be tried for war crimes!

    • Leigh

      Very Well Said!!!!!! & Agree Just want to add “Release our POWs of “The Drug War” Prisons should be for harden criminals such as, rapists, murderers, & other heinous acts….Not for people who choose to mind alter themselves..Its their life their business..

      • “Frenchy” Badeaux

        Perhaps we could add “political corruption” to that list of heinous crimes.

        • William

          In our Democratic Republic, called America, free from the king and church, there are already laws against corruption. Just watch Mr. Mueller. Our system is slow, somewhat cumbersome, but, and thank God for people like Mr. Mueller; the good people of America are legion, and the rule of law will prevail.

          • “Frenchy” Badeaux

            I hope you’re right, William. It’s just that sometimes, (especially living in a “freedom free” state), it’s just hard to keep the faith. P.S. Among another of that list of “heinous” crimes, (which, like political corruption, I know we already have laws against), perhaps we could throw in police brutality. Thanks for your comment, God bless!

    • William

      You go get ’em Frenchy! Lose a little anger, and your voice just gets more effective! Well said, slow it down and scream it. So to speak

  • bonnie king

    Secessions is in many pockets. He is as evil as his picture depicts. I do appreciate chad’s comments.

  • rwscid

    I find it difficult to explain why the people who have figured out cannabis prohibition should be ended immediately still seem to have a hard time accepting that cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc., prohibitions should also be ended immediately, and for exactly the same reasons.

    Gentlemen and women, the products are not the problem, prohibition is. With or without it some people, very few in fact, will manage to do things with the products that other people, very many in fact, think are bad for them. I won’t necessarily disagree with those many people, but I must insist on the right of people, all people, to do that which they wish to do (so long as they do not physically harm others or take their stuff).

    Do I not have the right to, for instance, take risks which may result in my death? Like climbing mountains, mixing my drugs with my alcohol, having sex without a condom?

    When we deny individuals the right to take the risks they want to take, we take away their free will.

    I’m an atheist, but my god would not approve. My god would say, “Let my people go.”

  • Fishrman

    A couple of points, if I may? First, the Federal government has absolutely no CONSTITUTIONAL authority to regulate cannabis within each state. Second, laws which are UNCONSTITUTIONAL are null and void, no matter what the courts say. In order for a law/regulation/code/statute/etc., to be legal and enforceable it MUST be in accordance with the powers delegated to the Federal government, which are those things dealing with international affairs [treaties, national DEFENSE (not OFFENSE/INVADING), commerce], NOT the domestic affairs of the people within the states. Third, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, NOBODY has any right or authority to dictate what another person can or cannot do with their own body.

    • William

      Well said; you are noticing, eh? And yet, they go on. Remember, only you can stop them.

    • William

      I do love the first, fourth, ninth and tenth amendments; well, all of them. 1 and 4 were Hunter Thompson’s faves. You are righteous in your indignation; I like it; Thirdly?.. and yet, they do…keep standing, speaking, writing; change the dialogue, and add your voice to the critical mass.

    • William

      All true, Fishrman; and yet, they do. How CAN we stop them. Yes, we can and we will. They act as if they are never going to die. I wish them well, and gone. Keep on rocking in the free world, and stay out loud.

  • Barbjo16

    He has a stake in the Private Prison system and that’s WHY he wants EVERYONE in prison the POS.

  • John Antonellis

    LostMyWay is correct, either these so called intelligent people have become suddenly unable to think or there’s other motives. In this case it’s money, perhaps some religious perspectives and racism included. However in this country which I love and I’m a veteran the all mighty dollar wins. It’s the priority in this country and actually if you chose capitalism don’t expect it to be altruistic. But when you have the type of people in the capital that aren’t concerned about improving the quality of life for the majority don’t be surprised to see many of them benefit financially down the rode from the ultimate development of both medicinal and recreational marijuana businesses. Just take a close look at the recent tax package passed, not designed to shift tax dollars towards the two most important things a developed and wealthy country should be providing it’s CITIZENS: education and health care! I wondered if my father would have immigranted here today?

  • Etidorhpa

    Don’t blame Mr . Sessions blame your liberal selves. Just look at the filth that legalization brings. Unless you say no to everything other than cannabis then wise intelligent people will say “Legalizing is bad, just look at the degradation it does to society.” Just look at Seattle and San Francisco. Shit holes. Blame your selves for the negative stigma of marijuana.

  • Rainey

    “America’s mass incarceration crisis… needs more prisoners and more prisons.”
    I would dearly love to know how much money Sessions and his family members have invested in the private prison industry during the past 10 years.
    Apparently, Sessions is unaware that death penalty cases are the most costly and time-consuming to litigate, which is why prosecutors are very reluctant to bring these cases to trial.
    Plus, obtaining a substance guaranteed to stop the heart has become almost impossible for corrections departments since manufacturers have begun refusing to supply the products to prisons due to negative publicity.
    So easy for politicians like Sessions and Trump to bluster and bloviate, when it’s obvious they haven’t thought through their big ideas.

  • lovingc

    Remember that when you go to jail moron. Mueller is waiting for you and your stupidity.

  • lovingc

    Sessions needs to remember he is not above the law either, Mueller is coming for Jeffy too.

  • LLBJJ

    This story is junk!!!!!

  • E.L. Bl/Du

    God help us all, they want to imprison every single pot smoker! THEY make allot of money building and running prisons. WHO are they trying to FOOL? Of course, I lost all hope in the intelligence of the American People when they fell for all the BS facebook fed us, it gave us THIS president, (who bankrupted every company he owned) Jeff sessions and the entire LOT of spoiled children running our country that look out for ONLY THEMSELVES and THEIR friends. It was said by Rand Paul, it was an act of mercy to take away health care and lower taxes for the corporations and the ultra rich. What about the rest of the 99% of us? Cant we impeach him? Somehow? Stormy? Hey it got Clinton out.

  • Jamfer Jones

    I’m not the only person that thinks Jeff Sessions is an uneducated bigot. Check this Doctor out ==> letter to the Attorney General. “I changed my mind, and I am certain you can,”
    says Dr. Gupta. Between 1999 and 2010, 20 percent fewer people
    died from opioids in states with medical marijuana dispensaries. It’s simple.. Cannabis saves lives and that’s the bottom line.