Cannabis States Request Meeting with Sessions

By Jason Marcuz

The treasurers of leading marijuana states, as well as legal cannabis industry leaders, requested a meeting with Jeff Sessions, the US Attorney General, to discuss how states with laws supporting legal marijuana use could comply and operate within existing federal drug laws. This was revealed to Jeff Sessions, a rabid anti-cannabis campaigner, in a letter dated March 29th, 2018.

The top state officials from Oregon, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania wish to discuss marijuana policy with Sessions. According to these officials, there are over 29 states across the U.S., including red and purple, that have legalized cannabis in one form or another. This is a clear pointer that cannabis is a national topic and not just a blue states issue.

According to the letter, a majority of US citizens live in states where cannabis is legal. Over 29 states have legalized recreational marijuana use, indicating that is indeed a matter of national importance and should not be viewed through partisan eyes.

The Cole Memo
The aim of the meeting is to attempt to resolve the conflict that exists between state and federal laws that have left the legal marijuana industry in limbo. Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, which is the reason for Session’s recent comments about a return to the rule of law when it comes to enforcing drug laws. This is bad news for all of the legal states as the Cole Memo is rendered useless.

The memo, implemented during Obama’s administration provided guidelines that ensured states with marijuana laws observed the federal law. This refers to issues affecting the sale of pot to minors, possession within federal buildings and even permitting financial institutions to handle cannabis cash.

Congress had already provided protection to the legal marijuana industry as well as patients seeking medical marijuana to operate within federal law through the attachment of a rider to an omnibus spending bill worth $1.3 trillion. However, this is only a temporary measure, and a permanent solution is necessary.

According to the letter, banks and businesses need more clarity on the way federal law enforcement will respond towards the growing marijuana legalization. The letter was released to the public by California’s state treasure Mr. John Chiang. There is a lack of effective banking services in most states with recreational and medical cannabis laws and the legal pot industry as banks do not wish to be exposed to legal challenges by the federal government.


Featured image via thelaughinggrass