Washington state leaders are responding to a Trump administration decision to rescind an Obama-era policy, known as the Cole Memorandum, that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in numerous states.
Statement from Gov. Jay Inslee:
Last year, Inslee and Ferguson wrote to Attorney General Sessions asking him to respect Washington state’s marijuana laws, and offered to meet with him to discuss federal treatment of marijuana laws. Inslee also joined with the governors of Alaska, Colorado in Oregon in sending another letter to Sessions and U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin telling them to retain the Cole Memo and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network guidance that respects state marijuana systems.
Statement from Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
While speaking with Gov. Jay Inslee at an Associated Press legislative forum Thursday, Ferguson said he was “deeply disappointed” in Sessions’ decision, but said it didn’t come as a great surprise.
Ferguson said no legal action had been taken as he wants to be thoughtful about the approach.
The AG said he had been working with a group of attorneys general about the issue in the past and will be having a conversation with them again.
Ferguson said Sessions' refusal to meet with him and others "is maddening."
Ferguson said that while much has been said about the Cole memo, he pointed out that the 2009 Ogden memo was very important considering that more than two dozen states have legal medical marijuana, which was "breathtaking" and "especially troubling" to him given Sessions' action.
Ferguson said the Ogden memo made it clear that federal resources should not be directed toward users of medical marijuana in states where it was legal.
Statement from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown
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