After recent foot-in-mouth — or make that head-up-ass — gaffes by Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Sen. Pete Sessions, R-Waco, has become the latest to join the fun.
During a Nov. 15 U.S. House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on the possibility of ending federal pot prohibition, Sessions invoked Reefer Madness-style criticisms of cannabis and likened its legal sale to slavery, according to a report by Cannabis Business Times.
“The product is being marketed, the product is being sold, the product is being advocated by people who are in it to make money,” Sessions said. “Slavery made money also and was a terrible circumstance that this country and the world went through for many, many years.”
That claim didn't sit well with Birmingham, Alabama Mayor Randall Woodfin, who testified at the hearing about his own efforts to pardon low-level possession cases, CBT reports.
Before responding to a question from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, Woodfin — who is Black — paused to to address Sessions' bizarre assertion from 20 minutes earlier.
“Just briefly before I answer the congresswoman’s question — words matter — and while I’m on record, I just would like to say to you directly, and your committee members, that putting cannabis and slavery in the same category is patently offensive and flagrant," the mayor said. "So, I wanted to state that.”
After the hearing, Woodfin made sure to get his point across by tweeting Sessions' buffoonish claim, followed by his own pushback.
Comparing the legal cannabis industry to slavery is patently offensive.— Randall Woodfin (@randallwoodfin) November 15, 2022
I hope that Rep. @PeteSessions learns from his many Republican colleagues on the right side of this issue.
It’s past time we end the prohibition of cannabis. pic.twitter.com/psySB0Ilsc
But Sessions' wild hyperbole about the devil's lettuce didn't end there.
During the hearing, the congressman invoked Centers for Disease Control data to insinuate that cannabis was partly responsible for spiraling overdose deaths, CBT reports. However, the data to which he referred never mentioned cannabis, a plant on which it's practically impossible to fatally overdose.
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