Sessions spars with DOJ interns over marijuana, police violence in newly leaked video

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE got into a heated exchange with Justice Department interns this summer over marijuana and police brutality, according to new video of the private event.

During a video of the “Summer Intern Lecture Series” obtained by ABC News and published on Thursday, an unnamed college intern asked Sessions why the Justice Department has harsher policies for marijuana and "pretty lax" policies for gun control when guns kill more people than marijuana.

Sessions told the woman she was comparing apples and oranges.


“The Second Amendment, you’re aware of that, guarantees the right of the American people to keep and bear arms and I intend to defend that Second Amendment," he said. "It’s as valid as the First Amendment.”

He then contested claims that marijuana is harmless.

“I believe last year was the first year that automobile accidents that occurred were found to have been caused more by drugs than by alcohol,” he said. “Marijuana is not a healthy substance in my opinion. The American Medical Association is crystal clear on that. Do you believe that?"

“I don’t,” the intern said.

“OK Dr. whatever your name is,” Sessions replied. "So you can write to AMA and see why they think otherwise.”

A man who identified himself as a law student at the University of California, Berkeley told Sessions he grew up in the projects with a single mother. The student said that the people they were afraid of were not necessarily their neighbors, but the police.

“Well that may be the view in Berkley, but it’s not the view in most places in the country,” Sessions replied.

The intern interrupted Sessions's response. He said that’s the view in Columbus, Ohio, “where the police just recently stomped a person’s head.”

“I hear you,” Sessions said, putting up a hand. He said the administration is “fully committed to maintaining civil rights for every American.”

“And when a police officer violates those rights and we have federal charges we can bring, we’re going to bring them,” he said.