Governors from 4 marijuana states ask to be left alone
- Author: Joanne Flowers Apr 04, 2017,
Apr 04, 2017, 13:08
In the face of threats from Washington to step up federal drug law enforcement, California - which voted last November to legalize recreational cannabis - could adopt a state law that would turn the Golden State into a safe haven for marijuana users.
The signatories on the letter are Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, and Governor Bill Walker of Alaska. But they are committed to "implementing the will of our citizens" and have worked to establish strict regulations that protect public health and safety.
Nevertheless, Attorney General Jeff Sessions - the top cop in the United States - has voiced his tough stance on the plant, equating its use with an addiction to heroin and telling Virginia law enforcement officers that smoking pot and injecting black tar are both "life-wrecking" dependencies.
The letter says that changing the Cole Memo would lead to a resurgence of the marijuana black market and fewer financial institutions being willing to provide services to marijuana-industry businesses, causing them to go back to the risky cash-only business many Colorado businesses operated on until recently. In addition to providing justifications for maintaining existing policy, the governors also asked for the opportunity to engage with Administration officials prior to any possible change in regulatory or enforcement systems.
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"We understand you and others in the administration have some concerns regarding marijuana", the letter continues.
Share with Us - We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article, and smart, constructive criticism. States are expected to have laws authorizing marijuana-related conduct and strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems to address the stated threats.
Since cannabis remains classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance list, many banks deny marijuana business owners their services, and section 28oE of the tax code prevents all companies dealing with controlled substances from filing for business deductions related to sales.
"We're really fortunate in Alaska to have a lot of legislators, the governor, a lot of representatives and senators who are very supportive of the marijuana industry", said Carrigan. Lisa Murkowski signed a letter with 11 of her colleagues, reminding the new administration, "On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump stated that despite his personal views regarding marijuana use, legalization should be left to the states". The Trump Administration should be working with the states to ensure the regulated markets are functioning properly and safely, not working against the states to shut them down.