Cole Memo Rescind by AG Sessions has rocked the cannabis business community and the medical marijuana community in Colorado. I have never taken being able to buy and consume cannabis for granted. It has always felt more like a privilege not a right. It is a privilege I wanted to share with other people. I want to share the knowledge of cannabis as medicine Sessions’ action today jeopardize that freedom.
Other politicians, cannabis organizations, and the people quickly came together with the beginnings of actions to ensure legalized cannabis will continue. I want to share the press conference and statements released here in Colorado. I have included other positive action articles and links.
I wish I could share all the comments and coming together of local activists on my facebook feed. These are the people who fought for legalization and continued to work to improve how the industry conducted business. These are the people who fight for medical marijuana patients’ rights just not in Colorado but throughout the country.
From the Hick: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of Gov. John Hickenlooper
Shelby Wiemanfirstname.lastname@example.org | 303-866-4640
Gov. Hickenlooper’s statement on Trump Administration’s decision to rescind policy guiding federal approach to marijuana legalization
DENVER — Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the Cole Memorandum.
“Thirty states comprising more than two thirds of the American people have legalized marijuana in some form. The Cole memo got it right and was foundational in guiding states’ efforts to regulate the production and distribution of marijuana. Colorado has created a comprehensive regulatory system committed to supporting the will of our voters. We constantly evaluate and seek to strengthen our approach to regulation and enforcement. Our focus will continue to be the public health and public safety of our citizens. We are expanding efforts to eliminate the black market and keep marijuana out of the hands of minors and criminals. Today’s decision does not alter the strength of our resolve in those areas, nor does it change my constitutional responsibilities.”
Contact: Aaron Smith, Executive Director
(303) 223-9727 — email@example.com
National Cannabis Industry Association Responds to Department of Justice’s Move to Rescind Marijuana Enforcement Guidelines
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice has rescinded the “Cole Memo” and two additional memos related to marijuana enforcement policy. These memos, issued in 2013 and 2014, have helped to clarify the Department’s response to state-legal cannabis activity.
In response to these developments, National Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director, Aaron Smith has issued the following statement:
This news from the Department of Justice is disturbing, especially in light of the fact that 73% of voters oppose federal interference with state cannabis laws. But, the rescinding of this memo does not necessarily mean that any major change in enforcement policy is on the horizon. This has been, and still will be, a matter of prosecutorial discretion. We therefore hope that Department of Justice officials, including U.S. Attorneys, will continue to uphold President Trump’s campaign promise to not interfere with state cannabis programs, which have been overwhelmingly successful in undercutting the criminal market.
In addition to safely regulating the production and sale of cannabis, state-based cannabis programs have created tens of thousands of jobs and generated more than a billion dollars in state and local tax revenue to date. Any significant change in federal enforcement policy will result in higher unemployment and will take funds away from education and other beneficial programs. Those revenues will instead go back to drug cartels and other criminal actors.
Vicente Sederberg LLC has released the following statement from founding partner Brian Vicente in response to the memo issued today by Jeff Sessions rescinding previous DOJ marijuana enforcement guidelines:
“Since August 2013, the Cole Memo has served as guidance to prosecutors regarding prioritization and prosecutorial discretion with respect to federal marijuana law enforcement. It was not a law or binding policy and, as it explicitly stated, it never altered the Justice Department’s authority to enforce federal marijuana laws. The rescinding of the Cole Memo does not indicate any specific changes in enforcement policy, and it remains to be seen whether it will have any significant impact on the Department’s actions. U.S. attorneys had vast prosecutorial discretion before and they will continue to have the same level of discretion.
“We hope federal prosecutors will share the position that President Trump expressed during his campaign, when he stated that marijuana policy should ‘absolutely’ be left to the states. We also strongly encourage them to take into account the strong public support for letting states develop their own marijuana laws. Polls show nearly two-thirds of American voters — including a majority of Republicans — think marijuana should be legal for adult use. Even more have expressed opposition to the federal government interfering in state’s marijuana policy decisions.
“The regulated marijuana market is steadily replacing the criminal market while also creating tens of thousands of jobs and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue into state economies. It would be incredibly counterproductive for the federal government to roll back this progress and hand the marijuana industry back over to cartels and criminals. States like Colorado and Washington have demonstrated that regulating marijuana works. Officials in these states are doing more than ever before to control marijuana, and it would behoove federal authorities to work with them and not against them.”
Politicians Opposed: Read entire article at Leafly.com
Cory Gardner, US Senator from Colorado: “This reported action directly contradicts what Attorney General Sessions told me prior to his confirmation. With no prior notice to Congress, the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in CO and other states. (President Donald Trump) had it right. This must be left up to the states.”