A recently released video shows Attorney General Jeff Sessions exchanging verbal comments with Department of Justice interns about marijuana policy and police brutality during a private event in Washington.
At one point, Sessions even teased a young woman for her views on federal marijuana laws – calling her, "Dr. Whatever her name is."
"Look, there is this opinion of that marijuana is harmless and does not harm, "Sessions said in the video, which was obtained by ABC News and published on Thursday.
"I think the last year was the first year in which it was discovered that the car accidents that occurred were caused more by drugs than by alcohol," he added. "Marijuana is not a healthy substance in my opinion, the American Medical Association is very clear about that."
The video was captured on June 22 during a "Summer Intern Lecture Series" event and was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The sessions lasted approximately 25 minutes a day, taking multiple questions of a number of DOJ inmates.
The woman he spoke with about marijuana, who has not been identified, had been pressuring the 70-year-old man about his "lax" stance on gun control laws and "hard policies" for marijuana when it started to be smart with her.
"He supports pretty tough marijuana policies and fairly lax arms control laws, I'm not even sure what his position on the assault weapons ban is," said the intern. He said. "So I'd like to know, since guns kill more people than marijuana, why do you loose laws against each other?"
At the door, Sessions made his opinion clear on the matter, laughing loudly and with an exasperated expression. 1
Noting WADA's opinion on cannabis, Sessions asked: "Do you believe that?"
"Uh, it's not like that," the intern said, chuckling.
"It's okay!" Sessions said. "So, Dr. Whatever your name is, you can write to AMA and see why they think otherwise."
At another time during the event, the sessions came and went with an unidentified law student from the University of California at Berkeley. the issue of police brutality.
"I grew up in one of these communities," said the intern. "I grew up on projects for a single mother, and the people we fear are not necessarily our neighbors, but the police."
With a look of annoyance on his face, Sessions answered flatly: "Well, that may be the opinion in Berkeley, but it is not seeing in most parts of the country."
the intern intervened, " That's the view in Columbus, Ohio … where the police trampled a person's head recently. "
" I hear you, "Sessions said, raising his hand.
"We have a situation in which we have to face violent crimes in America in cities that have abandoned traditional police activities like Baltimore and Chicago, [where] homicide rates have increased, particularly in poor neighborhoods." he added. "And then, we in this department are absolutely committed to maintaining civil rights for every American, and when a police officer violates those rights and we have federal charges that we can present, we will bring them."
In a statement on Thursday, a spokesman for the Justice Department told ABC that the question and answer session allowed students solid conversations, including discussions, about the challenges our country faces with the attorney general. "