Brow Beat

Samantha Bee Is Here to Remind Jeff Sessions Why We Don’t Need Another War on Drugs

Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs, but Samantha Bee is not having it. The Full Frontal host spent two-thirds of Wednesday’s show attacking Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ opposition to criminal justice reform, one of the few areas that the left and right can agree on, and his Justice Department’s reboot of the war on drugs. (Like most reboots, it’s bad.) Bee took a deep dive to explain why the first War on Drugs was such a disaster and set about proving that Jeff Sessions’ “one-handcuff-fits-all policy” is not the answer to the opioid epidemic.

To further drive the point home, Full Frontal then also exposed just how unreliable drug field test kits are, dramatizing two real-world Texas cases in which police pulled over vehicles and then misidentified banal substances like cat litter as illegal substances. Former Houston prosecutor Inger Chandler explains that those tests are widely accepted as evidence in court, despite giving false positives on everything from donut glaze to air. But as Full Frontal’s segment demonstrates, those false positives can force defendants into taking plea bargains despite a lack of actual evidence—and black defendants are disproportionately affected.