Dec 7, 2017

Sessions spars with DOJ interns over marijuana, guns and police violence

Carolyn Kaster/AP

A question-and-answer session with interns from the Department of Justice led to tense exchanges with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to ABC News, which obtained video of the event.

The highlights: Sessions dismissed an intern's claims of widespread fear of police in poor communities, and laughed at a woman who questioned why said he supports harsher policies for marijuana but not increased gun control.

  • Intern: "So I'd like to know, since guns kill more people than marijuana, why lax laws on one and harsh laws on the other?"
  • Sessions laughed and said she comparing “apples and oranges." He added, “The Second Amendment, you're aware of that, guarantees the right of the American people to keep arms, and I intend to defend that Second Amendment. It's as valid as the First Amendment." He later said “Marijuana is not a healthy substance" and the “American Medical Association is crystal clear on that."

On police violence:

  • An intern told Sessions that he grew up in the projects and that people there were more afraid of the police than their neighbors.
  • Sessions: “Well, that may be the view in Berkeley," he began, before saying law enforcement needs to “confront violent crime in America in cities that have abandoned traditional police activity like Baltimore and Chicago." He asserted that murder rates “have surged, particularly in poor neighborhoods."
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