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In his ongoing war against marijuana, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions would admit that weed is "only slightly less awful" than heroin during his speech in front of law enforcement officials in Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday. Sessions' comment comes in response to research suggesting that marijuana use could aid in treating heroin addiction. "I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana—so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful," he said, per the Washington Post. "Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life."
In that same speech, Sessions reiterated some of the points he made during a speech at the National Association of Attorneys General’s winter meeting address in February where he expressed doubt that we would be "a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store." While the Trump administration seems quite fond of letting beliefs outweigh facts, the truth of the matter is that weed isn't "slightly less awful" than heroin—it's a lot less awful.
Last year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that there were nearly 13,000 heroin-related deaths in 2015, surpassing the number of gun homicides that same year. Meanwhile, there have been no reported cases of an individual overdosing from smoking weed. Even though proving that marijuana use can help someone dealing with heroin addiction could be an uphill battle, a report published by the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that opioid-related hospitalizations have decreased in states allowing medical marijuana. That's an encouraging sign for a drug "slightly less awful" than heroin.