It affects YOU

Out In Jersey Editor-In-Chief Sam Martino
Out In Jersey Editor-In-Chief Sam Martino
Editor’s Letter

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I had a clear decision to make: opioids or marijuana. With pain management in my future, the decision was clear for me. No one ever died from marijuana, but in the United States in 2016, more than 60,000 people died from accidental opioid overdose.

So, one has to wonder why Attorney General Jeff Sessions would rescind guidance that President Obama’s administration had in place which allowed states to legalize marijuana. In a statement, Sessions said that the move would allow federal prosecutors “to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

Basically, in states where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes, federal prosecutors are left to their own discretion on how they want to proceed. Sessions has also compared marijuana to heroin, which we know is simply absurd. We all know the true gateway drugs are pharmaceutical drugs!

If you thought marijuana legalization was the only thing to worry about, the Centers for Disease Control is going to hold a briefing to explain how the public can prepare for nuclear war. This decision comes on the heels of the president tweeting North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un that he too has “a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” The undertones of this statement are, “my cock is bigger than yours.” This is the president of the United States saying these things, not some TV personality. Oh, wait. Yes, he was a TV personality first.

These are the troubling and uncertain times we live in, but there is always something we can do, and that is to vote. Midterm elections are coming up this November, and we have to be sure that the Republicans lose as many seats as possible in the House and Senate. A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress (33 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) are up for election on Nov. 6, 2018. Heading into the election, the Republican Party holds a 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, believes that Democrats will win back not just the House of Representatives in 2018, but the Senate as well. ”We’re going to take the House and we’re going to take the Senate,” the Minnesota congressman said during a recent interview.

To give you an idea of how important 2018 is, there are also 36 gubernatorial races, 26 state races, and 26 of those states are currently in the hands of the Republicans. Half the senate seats will be on the ballot in 42 states, and almost every statehouse seat will be up for election. The stakes could not be higher, for every American.

Keep in mind that we have to stick together and not have any infighting because if Republicans don’t lose their majorities, they are poised to be in a position of power until 2030, primarily because they will govern the U.S. Census in 2020. And doesn’t that sound like fun? So get out there and volunteer on a hotly contested campaign, raise funds, register voters, and speak well of the politicians you support…no more complaining! Get involved, and make it happen.

Sam Martino
Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.