On Feb. 23, 2017, when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on the potential of “greater enforcement” of federal marijuana law under the Trump Administration, the industry reacted immediately and stocks trended down in the wake of his words.
Days later, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reaffirmed Spicer’s statement in a discussion with reporters and then again with the National Association of Attorneys General. Now, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has penned a letter in an effort to protect the recreational marijuana industry.
The letter, dated March 2, came from Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Patty Murray, D-Wash., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
In their request, the U.S. Senators have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to uphold the Department of Justice’s current federal policy that respects states’ rights in regards to recreational marijuana.
“It is essential that states that have implemented any type of practical, effective marijuana policy receive immediate assurance from the DOJ that it will respect the ability of states to enforce thoughtful, sensible drug policies in ways that do not threaten the public’s health and safety,” the senators wrote in their letter. “It is critical that states can continue to implement these laws under the framework of the Cole Memorandum.”
The senators added, “We request that state and local elected officials, and public health and safety officials, be afforded an opportunity to comment on any shift in policy from that expressed in the Cole Memorandum, to avoid disruption of existing regulation and enforcement efforts.”