Attorney General Jeff Sessions is out with an op-ed in the Washington Post.
It begins this way:
Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business. If you want to collect a drug debt, you can’t, and don’t, file a lawsuit in court. You collect it by the barrel of a gun.Of course, Sessions is horrifically wrong. There is nothing about drug sales that makes it an inherently violent business. It is a violent business because of government regulations against its sale and the large penalties for those convicted of selling drugs.
The alcohol business, during prohibition, was a violent business that changed when alcohol was allowed to be sold legally. The same thing would occur if recreational drugs were allowed to be sold legally.
Right now, if you are a drug dealer, you face serious jail time if you get caught, you are going to plug anyone that you think might link you to drug sales and threaten your freedom. That threat goes away under legalized drugs. Drug sales would enter the civilized world where the danger of selling recreational drugs would be no different than selling aspirin or allergy medication. Grandmothers clerking at local pharmacies would be able to handle the transactions.
Sessions appears to not understand any of this, he wants to increase prison sentences for dealers, which of course only increases the incentive for dealers to plug anyone they suspect of being a snitch or could potentially turn so.
In his piece, Sessions explains want he has done to push prosecutors to seek more aggressive sentencing:
.Last month, after weeks of study and discussion with a host of criminal-justice participants, I issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors regarding charging and sentencing policy that once again authorizes prosecutors to charge offenses as Congress intended. This two-page guidance instructs prosecutors to apply the laws on the books to the facts of the case in most cases, and allows them to exercise discretion where a strict application of the law would result in an injustice. Instead of barring prosecutors from faithfully enforcing the law, this policy empowers trusted professionals to apply the law fairly and exercise discretion when appropriate. That is the way good law enforcement has always worked.Well, it is not how law enforcement always worked. It worked that way during the violent era of prohibition and ended when alcohol producers were no longer prosecuted for the manufacture and sale of alcohol.
Sessions appears to have a remarkable inability to follow a string of logic when prosecution of drug dealers is concerned and the true epicenter of drug-related violence. It's either that or he is one sick freak hungry to exercise power.