The governing powers of the first four states to legalize marijuana in the United States fired a letter off to members of the Trump Administration earlier this week in hopes of preventing a federal crackdown on legal weed.
The letter, which was addressed to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, asks the new administration to respect state pot laws by keeping in tune with the memo issued a few years ago by President Obama’s Justice Department allowing states to cultivate and sell marijuana as long as they adhere to certain rules.
“As governors of states that have legalized marijuana in some form, we ask the Trump Administration to engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems,” the letter signed by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Insle reads. “The balance struck by the 2013 Department of Justice Cole Memorandum (Cole Memo) has been indispensable ― providing the necessary framework for state regulatory programs centered on public safety and health protections.”
The governors’ letter goes on to ask Trump’s henchmen to give the concept of legalization a fair shot.
“We understand you and others in the administration have some concerns regarding marijuana,” the letter continues. “We sympathize, as many of us expressed apprehensions before our states adopted current laws. As governors, we have committed to implementing the will of our citizens and have worked cooperatively with our legislatures to establish robust regulatory structures that prioritize public health and public safety, reduce inequitable incarceration and expand our economies.”
Although the Trump administration has yet to reveal its master plan with respect to dealing with legal marijuana states, the recent comments from White House spokesman Sean Spicer, which suggest that federal law could be enforced, has caused much concern for those involved in the cannabis industry.
Governor Hickenlooper, who initially opposed marijuana legalization, told The Cannabist last week that he “would argue to the attorney general that the country has potential benefit to be able to see this experiment through to a natural conclusion.”
“Let’s go a couple more years and see and get more data and really see, “Are we worse off or better off than we were before?’” he added.
As it stands, twenty-eight states have legalized marijuana in some form, but the federal government has yet to follow suit. There are currently a handful of bill lingering in Congress that could legalize the leaf nationwide, putting an end to all of this potential crackdown business for good. However, Republican forces are simply not ready to support this level of reform.