House Judiciary Committee jokes about Sessions’ KKK sympathies

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a bill proposing that Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III be granted power to classify a variety of synthetic formulations as schedule one drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Currently, only the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency can schedule substances. To prevent a proud reeferphobe and drug war fetishist from acquiring control over federal drug laws, several committee members offered impassioned arguments against the legislation.

“Attorney General Sessions seems to be caught in the 1930s, in the Harry Anslinger mode, thinking that marijuana is a gateway drug and evil, and that people who smoke marijuana are not good people and should be arrested. If we are talking about rescheduling, Mr. Chairman,” Rep. Steve Cohen said, addressing a distracted Bob Goodlatte with sass, “I see I don’t have the chairman’s ear. That’s okay, because I don’t think I’d have his mind either. The fact is, what we should be doing is rescheduling marijuana. To have marijuana schedule one, with heroin and ecstasy — ecstasy, Mr. Chairman — and acid, is ludicrous.”

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee followed up by revisiting that time Sessions admitted he only stopped respecting the Ku Klux Klan after learning they smoked pot.

“It’s been brought to my attention that the individual that we want to give all this power, General Sessions, is on record as saying that he thought the KKK was okay until he heard that they smoke marijuana,” Jackson Lee said. “That’s certainly extreme, and I would hope we would consider the impact this bill would have on innocent persons who are just trying to get well again.”

At that, Cohen tried to riff, since nothing is funnier than the top Justice Department employee’s history of courting white supremacists.

“That’s something else that marijuana has done good,” Cohen said, smiling, “is convince General Sessions that the KKK was bad.”

As aides in the room giggled, Rep. John Conyers came through with a reality check, remarking, “I don’t know if he did.”

You can watch the full exchange below.

[h/t: @tomangell | screen shot: RepCohen]