By Brian Root

While all eyes were on the US administration’s latest attempt to block people from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, many may have missed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ alarming remarks on the US “war on drugs.”

In a speech before law enforcement leaders Wednesday, Sessions clearly articulated his prohibitionist views on personal drug use, stating that marijuana is only “slightly less awful” than heroin and that “using drugs will destroy your life.” While briefly mentioning the importance of treatment and prevention programs, Sessions made clear that he plans to significantly ramp up federal enforcement of drug laws, and that he opposes the experiments that many states have started with legalization and regulation of marijuana.

We know from experience that this approach and has done little to reduce problematic drug use, which has remained high for decades. Instead, it has done tremendous harm, resulting in massive numbers of people being locked up or deported for low-level offenses in the US.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Sara Jo