State Leaders Respond to Sessions’ Criticism of Legal Cannabis

US Chief law officer Jeff Sessions fired a caution shot at state-legal cannabis last week. In separate letters sent out to leaders in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon, he raised what he called “major concerns” about the states’ cannabis laws. Now some state authorities are shooting back.

“Honestly, it’s tough to take him seriously if he depends on such out-of-date details,” Washington state Chief law officer Bob Ferguson informed the Seattle Times in reaction to Sessions’ criticism. “Do your homework, get excellent information.”

In the letters, which have been slammed by marijuana reform supporters as misleading and created to overstate the flaws in state marijuana programs, Sessions declares that the laws have actually been inadequately enforced, allowing minors to gain access to marijuana and allowing diversion of legal marijuana into other states along with the prohibited market.

In a declaration, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee stated he’s “extremely happy with the work we have actually done to implement legalization in a way that keeps youths safe, minimizes diversion into the black market, and minimizes diversion from our state.”

“It is clear that our objectives regarding health and wellness remain in step with the goals Chief law officer Sessions has actually articulated,” Inslee continued. “Sadly he is referring to insufficient and unreliable information that does not supply the most accurate snapshot of our efforts considering that the market opened in 2014.”

Sessions’ letters to the adult-use cannabis states rely on details from High Intensity Drug Trafficking Location (HIDTA) reports. The HIDTA program, developed in the late 1980s, exists to “minimize drug trafficking and production in the United States.”

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper said his office takes Sessions’ issues seriously. “We invite the opportunity to work with the Attorney general of the United States and come to the most reliable approach to the states and the federal government collaborating to protect public health, public safety and other police interests,” a representative told The Denver Channel. “We take the concerns shared in the letter seriously and will provide a detailed response.”

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