MOBILE—The summer of 1967 saw a law-school-bound Jeff Sessions pining for his high school sweetheart Mary Watters. She’d enrolled at UC Berkeley 2,300 miles away in the Golden State and had called their relationship quits the month before leaving.
Sessions, reportedly devastated, was unable to fathom how this could be, what with his family name and place amongst grand ole southern aristocracy since before the days of Dixie. How could any woman be such a fool as to dismiss him?
By the middle of winter, he’d figured it out—it had to be marihuana: the devil’s lettuce, the evil weed, the bubonic chronic. ‘Them hippies in Berkeley,’ thought Sessions, ‘had brainwashed my darling and converted her to a craven, pot-tokin demon.’ From that day forward, Sessions would despise the plant that was phonetically akin to his once-adorable southern belle sweety’s name.
“It does make sense,” says psychiatrist Greta Flornich. “The guy seems to have a real hard-on for this plant.”