Getting into Jeff Sessions’ head: Imagining what AG pick’s drug education looked like in 1960s Alabama

An insider in the cannabis industry has a unique take on what might be going on in the mind of Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general.

Sessions, a four-term Alabama Republican, has come out strongly against marijuana legalization, but Jim Walsh, a cannabis media relations consultant, says that’s not surprising, given what Sessions’ drug education might have been like, having been born in 1946 in Selma, Ala.

“Imagine growing up in Southern Alabama in the ’60s, being 20 years old in 1966,” says Walsh. “His world view was shaped in such a way, that he is probably still rooted in that experience. … Like everyone else, he has been hit over the head with the propaganda that weed is horrible and dangerous and all these things.”

Walsh says a particular approach might help open a dialogue with Sessions regarding the legalization of marijuana: “Different organizations have gone to his office in Capitol Hill,” he says. “A better approach I think … is to have people reach out and explain to him — maybe I’m being naive — but I think there’s probably a constructive way to show him how it’s helping children with extreme epilepsy and various other issues. …

“He’s got to be educated like everybody else. The propaganda has been rough on everyone.”

Despite the challenges, Walsh remains hopeful. “I’m hopeful that Trump will be true to the fact that he said that he’s going to allow the states to let it play out,” he says. “I’m hopeful that level heads will prevail and the right approach will happen that will be beneficial for our economy and those of us that enjoy cannabis.”

Walsh and Cannabis Now senior editor Ellen Holland sat down with Cannabist editor-in-chief Ricardo Baca on the Cannabist Show in December to talk politics, hash oils and the connoisseur-grade cannabis market.

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