Oregon Governor’s Open Letter Explains Cannabis Policies to Jeff Sessions

Oregon Governor's Open Letter Explains Cannabis Policies to Jeff Sessions

Flickr / Laura Gilmore / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On Aug. 22, 2017, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a response to a letter sent by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that criticized that state’s cannabis policies aimed at regulating recreational marijuana.

In her response Brown heartily defended the state’s efforts to abide by the Cole Memorandum, pointing to the implementation of a seed-to-sale tracking system, increased criminal penalties for “super possession” and the launch of a program aimed at keeping teens off of marijuana.

“Oregon has been diligent in reaching out to our federal partners to build a collaborative and mutually beneficial understanding regarding our marijuana system,” Brown said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a successful marijuana market while protecting the safety of our communities.”

Brown also discredited a preliminary report issued by the Oregon State Police that Sessions continues to use to cast doubt on the efficacy of legalization. According to Brown, the report used by Sessions does not reflect the “on the ground” reality of cannabis policies in Oregon.

Bolstering Brown’s claim is a letter written by Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton. In his letter, Hampton stresses that the report was meant to establish a baseline to study legalization’s effects and was not meant to be published until “objective data could be recovered for many years.”

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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