Congress Prepares to Give Jeff Sessions More Power to Ban Whatever Substance He Doesn’t Like

Allowing government to arbitrarily determine which substances human beings can put into their own bodies is one of the most idiotic things a society can do. As such, its no surprise Congress is salivating at the prospect of furthering this travesty by giving additional discretion on the matter to drug war-crazed loon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Reason published an excellent article on the topic in yesterday’s piece: Congress Wants To Give Jeff Sessions Unprecedented New Drug War Powers.

Here are some key excerpts:

If you think the Department of Justice has more than enough tools to wage the war on drugs, a bill passed by the House would create a fast-track scheduling system that could lead to the criminalization of kratom, nootropics, and pretty much anything that gives you a buzz and isn’t already illegal.

The House of Representatives voted on Friday to create a new schedule of banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act, called “Schedule A,” and to give Attorney General Jeff Sessions broad new powers to criminalize the manufacturing, importation, and sale of substances that are currently unregulated, but not illegal. The bill is now headed to the Senate, where co-sponsors Dianne Feinstein (D–Calif.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) will likely have little problem whipping votes.

The Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogs Act, or SITSA, is intended to crack down on drugs that closely resemble currently banned or regulated substances in either their chemical structure or intended effects. SITSA would also empower the attorney general (A.G.) to add drugs to this new schedule with few checks from other branches of government….

While Department of Justice (DOJ) complaints about analogs aren’t new, the rise of fentanyl analogs have inspired Congress to act more aggressively and clumsily than usual. The Senate version of SITSA introduced by Feinstein and Grassley gives the attorney general unilateral and unchecked power to add a substance to Schedule A. It contains no congressional review provision and vests no authority in the Department of Health and Human Services to challenge the DOJ’s scheduling decision.

When SITSA came up for a vote in the House, the House Liberty Caucus released a statement condemning the decision to “cede more of Congress’s legislative authority to the Attorney General and grant the AG more power to fight the war on drugs, which has eroded federalism, eviscerated numerous individual rights, entrenched severe discrimination in our criminal justice system, and failed to meaningfully limit the proliferation of illicit drugs”…

Fans of the herbal opioid remedy kratom have expressed concerns about SITSA, as have nootropic users and research chemical enthusiasts. The combined vagueness and broadness of this bill should worry all of them. While the immediate justification for the bill is fentanyl, the legislation is so much broader than that. Were coffee and booze not historically entrenched in our culture, this bill would absolutely allow the DOJ to add both caffeine (as a stimulant) and alcohol (as a sedative) to Schedule A of the Controlled Substances Act.

Two major points I want to make on this beyond the obvious. First, the failed drug war perfectly demonstrates why most things should be decided at the state/local level. Since Colorado and Washington led the charge in 2012, seven other states (plus D.C.) have legalized recreational cannabis. All the while, Congress has been an absolute zero on the topic, and is now trying to make the situation worse and more arbitrary with this crazy SITSA bill.

Second, I’m sure you noticed senior Democrat Dianne Feinstein is a leading sponsor of this nonsense in the Senate. It’s good to know Jeff Sessions is so terrible (and he is) that some Democrats are working tirelessly to empower him in yet another irresponsible way.

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10 thoughts on “Congress Prepares to Give Jeff Sessions More Power to Ban Whatever Substance He Doesn’t Like”

  1. It amazes me that someone like Sessions could even exist. As the country faces a slew of massive difficulties, he’s obsessed with kids smoking pot, like his entire world outlook was shaped by a viewing of Reefer Madness.

    This old fossil needs to go the way of the dodo, and fast. The only possible justification for his actions is that he thinks things are too far gone to save the nation, so he may as well focus on pet issues instead.

    • It’s unlikely to me that Sessions gives any thought toward saving the nation. Everything he does seems to focus on his pet issues, ie. those issues on which he has been paid to focus.

  2. Sessions isn’t the problem. The problem is the pitiable fact that Americans have accepted the government’s assumed authority to dictate what free persons decide to put into the one and only thing they truly own: their own body.
    All substances that are not radioactive should be freely available to and freely consumable by adult persons.
    You wanna shoot fentanyl 3x/day? Have at it, son. Available at your nearest Walgreens without a prescription, should they choose to sell it. If not, your buddy down the street can import and sell it at no legal risk to him or you.
    Let people make their own decisions about their health. The result will be a much-needed culling of the herd and the elimination of at least 14% of all arrests nationwide.

  3. Either both political Party’s go the way of the Dinosaur, or this batshit insanity will continue unabated.

    The good news is that both political Party’s are coming apart at the seems, so it is going to happen.

    The bad news is it will take another 8-10 years. In the meantime I’m going to thoroughly enjoy watching their slow and incredibly painful death.

  4. The problem is not that people are putting substances in their bodies. It’s the consequences of doing so –the cost of treating an overdose, the cost of raising an unsupported family, the cost of under the influence drivers’ mayhem on the roads, and, of course, the cost of the crime that supports the industry. Seabrook New Hampshire started charging people for the use of the Jaws of Life to pay for Narcan for those who overdose. That is a real cost which shows up on each of our insurance bills. With Freedom comes Responsibility.

    • You bring up a great point. These drug laws did come into being for a reason. There were problems people had with drugs and drug users which they thought could be solved by bringing a higher force into the mix since the family could no longer work it out. As much as it sounds great to “cull the herd” it’s a cynical view. These things are usually a burden on the family and sometimes prison time for a true addict releases the family from that burden. Now i think it’s become a lot more complicated with all the legal drugs big Pharma gives out…guess it’s time we grow up and stop asking somebody to save us

  5. Who introduced this bill to start with? John Katko, NY 24th District, Republican. To me, that’s a little more relevant than who in the Senate is “sponsoring” its passage.

    See how (and whether or not) your representative voted here:

    Note that the grandstanding “conservative” darling, Trey Gowdy voted aye on this bill.

  6. Toyou who have created and support illegaldrug traffic by drug cartels: youare entitled to do whatever you want to “your bodies.”

    Butgo doit somewhere else, and don’t come back.

  7. Sessions obsession is really what the right wing of the Republican Party has been about for decades now – control, and a mindless and illogical form of control. And the Dems are in on it now too. Its another mindless puritanical exercise to deny people “pleasure”. And yes, if alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes weren’t so pervasive in the U.S. They would be banned as well.
    And while we are on the subject, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, they’ll be going after condoms, the pill, depo-provera… you name it.


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