A letter, sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, requests the Department of Justice (DOJ) to uphold all existing enforcement policy regarding states that have voter-approved marijuana laws.
The bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, included in the undersigned:
- 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.)
- Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)
The letter was inspired by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s remarks during a briefing on February 23rd, namely his statement that “greater enforcement” would be applied to the states that have legalized cannabis for adult use.
“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. “This ensures that state infrastructure, including tax revenue, small businesses, and jobs, can be protected; DOJ resources can be used most effectively; and most importantly, that marijuana can be properly regulated to improve public health and safety.”
Read the full text here.
The letter mentions 2013’s “Cole Memorandum,” which provides an outline for how state and federal laws will interact regarding marijuana use and other marijuana-related activities. The enforcement Spicer hints at, could affect the eight states—Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia—who have already passed laws allowing for the recreational use of marijuana despite it being illegal on a federal level.