International Cannabis Business Conference

Senators Send Letter to Jeff Sessions About DOJ's Marijuana Policy

On Mar. 2, 11 senators signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling on the Justice Department to continue its hand's-off approach to statewide legalization. The letter, dated Mar. 2, on United States Senate stationary, reads in part:

"It's 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. This ensures that state infrastructure, including tax revenue, small businesses and jobs can be protected; DOJ resources can be used most effectively; and more importantly, that marijuana can be properly regulated to improve public health and safety. We hope that you solicit input from state and local officials to learn about their ongoing efforts and gain their perspectives on this matter."

It concludes with a call to honor the 2013 Cole Memo, which protects adult-use states like Colorado and Washington – as long as they adhere to a set of rules. "We respectfully request that you uphold the DOJ's existing policy regarding states that have implemented strong and effective regulations for recreational marijuana use and ask that the Cole Memorandum remain in place. It's critical that states can continue to implement these laws under the framework of the Cole Memorandum. In addition, 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 Memoradum, to avoid disruption of existing regulation and enforcement efforts." Read the letter in its entirely here.

The letter signers are:

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)

Sen. Jeff Merkey (D-OR)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren  (D-MA)

Sen. John Wyden (D-OR)

In addition, four representatives started the Congressional Cannabis Caucus last week. They are:

Rep. Earl Blumenaeur (D-OR)

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) 

Rep. Don Young (D-AK) 

Several of the Congresspeople listed above have also sponsored legislation. To read about the latest "Pro-Cannabis Bills on Capitol Hill," go here.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.