Alaska Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions used Lady Gaga as an example in his plea to Attorney General Eric Holder to tighten his stance on marijuana.
"Lady Gaga says she's addicted to it and it's not harmless, she's been addicted to it," Sessions told Holder. "I just hope you will talk to the president— you're close to him— and pull back from this position which I think is going to be adverse to the health of America."
The argument came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the operations of the Justice Department. Holder replied that "that the use of any drug is potentially harmful, and included in that would be alcohol" and that "any drug used in an inappropriate way can be harmful." He said nothing further about there being an “appropriate” way to use pot, and neither concurred with or denied President Obama’s comment to the New Yorker that marijuana is no more dangerous that alcohol.
Holder also maintained that legalizing marijuana wouldn’t make it more accessible to young people, as Sessions claimed.
"People cannot buy alcohol I guess now until you're age 18, or age 21, but young people find ways to get alcohol because adults can have access to it," Holder said. "I'm not sure that we will see the same thing here, given what we have said with regard to our enforcement priorities."
The Justice Department has said that it would not prosecute the states of Washington and Colorado for legalizing marijuana.
Lady Gaga told the Z100 morning show in November that she was “smoking up to 15-20 marijuana cigarettes a day with no tobacco” and that she was “addicted” to marijuana while coping with anxiety and pain from a hip injury that forced her to cancel part of her tour.
According to the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse, 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become “dependent” on it, less than the rate of addiction of other drugs.