If the appointment of anti-pot hard-liner Jeff Sessions as the Attorney General wasn’t enough cause for worry to pot advocates and activists, he has now tapped in former cop and fellow marijuana-despising Steve Cook to look over the Department of Justice’s marijuana policies. The now-prosecutor was a critical force in the drafting of the Department’s latest policy that encourages harsher punishments for criminals. Now his sights have turned on marijuana, which is still regarded as illegal on the federal level.
His hatred of drugs, all drugs, was forged on a nightly patrol when he was a cop in the 70s and 80s. A “pilled-up drug user” who had gotten behind the wheel of his car had crashed into a family’s station wagon, killing the two young daughters in the backseat. From then on, Cook has taken a strict, no-compromise approach to drug use, trafficking, possession and all other drug-related crime. And marijuana does not fall outside of his consideration of unacceptable substances, despite a significant portion of the nation disagreeing with this harsh perspective.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Cook stated that “This theory that we have embraced since the beginning of civilization is, when you put criminals in prison, crime goes down,” a premise that he went on to call “simple.”
Already Cook has helped Sessions in drafting a directive that calls for harsher punishments for suspects of any crime, a move that would result in more individuals being imprisoned, and for longer. Even many republican lawmakers consider Steve Cook’s policies to be outdated and financially irresponsible. Critics see this as an effort to revive the failed War on Drugs, which disproportionately impacts minority communities.
It seems that Cook does not believe in the existence of low-level offenders, if one were to judge by his history, which you can read more about here.
Photo by DonkeyHotey