Oregon Officials Fight For Marijuana Rights

posted by Brad Ford -

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind an Obama-era policy that allows states to decide whether to legalize marijuana.

The policy allowed states to legalize use of marijuana if they had controls that kept it from falling into the wrong hands and crossing state lines.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement:

"Reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will roll back federal marijuana policy are deeply concerning and disruptive to our state's economy. Over 19,000 jobs have been created by the market Oregon worked carefully to build in good faith and in accordance with the Cole Memorandum. The federal government must keep its promise to states that relied on its guidance. 

"States are the laboratories of democracy, where progressive policies are developed and implemented for the benefit of their people. Voters in Oregon were clear when they chose for Oregon to legalize the sale of marijuana and the federal government should not stand in the way of the will of Oregonians. 

"My staff and state agencies are working to evaluate reports of the Attorney General's decision and will fight to continue Oregon's commitment to a safe and prosperous recreational marijuana market."

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden:

“Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states’ rights only when they believe the state is right,” Wyden said. 

“Opening the door to go after legal marijuana businesses ignores the will of the majority of Americans and marks yet another socially unjust and economically backward scheme from this administration. Any budget deal Congress considers in the coming days must build on current law to prevent the federal government from intruding in state-legal, voter-supported decisions.”

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumeanuer:

“This is outrageous. Going against the majority of Americans—including a majority of Republican voters—who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made. One wonders if Trump was consulted—it is Jeff Sessions after all—because this would violate his campaign promise not to interfere with state marijuana laws. 

“It’s time for anyone who cares about this issue to mobilize and push back strongly against this decision.”

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley:

“This is a destructive decision and a huge step backwards. Whatever happened to Attorney General Sessions’ belief in states’ rights? This decision directly contradicts then-candidate Trump’s statement on cannabis policy that ‘it should be up to the states, absolutely.’  “There is nothing to be gained from going back to an era when federal resources were wasted prosecuting nonviolent cannabis crimes. This decision will create massive uncertainty, hurt local businesses and tax revenue, and harm public safety by driving cannabis activity back into the more dangerous black market. The Justice Department should immediately reverse this misguided decision and honor Trump’s campaign commitment, and I will keep fighting to make this happen.”

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