Oregon Governor Stands up to Jeff Sessions on Legal Marijuana

shutterstock 680683087
shutterstock 680683087

Just as the governors of Washington and Alaska have done, Governor Kate Brown is fighting back against Jeff Sessions’ effort to undermine state approved marijuana.

As we recently reported, there is still quite a bit of marijuana propaganda out there. But unsubstantiated stories about marijuana laced with fentanyl are not the only concerns for marijuana advocates and industry members.

U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, has issued letters to Oregon, Alaska, Washington, and Colorado questioning whether or not those states have control over legalized marijuana. Sessions told Colorado leaders that a January 2017 state police report “raises serious questions about the efficacy of marijuana ‘regulatory structures’ in your state.”

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Just as Governors Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Bill Walker (I-AK) have done, Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) is pushing back on the issue. She responded to Sessions with a forceful letter of her own.

“Oregon has been diligent in reaching out to our federal partners to build a collaborative and mutually beneficial understanding regarding our marijuana system,” Brown told Sessions in her letter. “I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a successful marijuana market while protecting the safety of our communities.“

Brown informed Sessions in her letter that all legal marijuana in Oregon is carefully tracked. Radio frequency tags track marijuana from seed to sale. Marijuana is also thoroughly tested to ensure safety. There are significant penalties for anyone who violates these procedures.

Additionally, Brown does not agree with the conclusions in the state police report that Sessions has seized on.  Brown claims the report “does not (and frankly does not purport to), reflect the ‘on the ground’ reality in Oregon in 2017,” and “provides little insight into the effectiveness of Oregon’s post-legalization regulatory measures,” according to the Huffington Post.
Analysts are unsure if Sessions is truly looking to shut down the marijuana industry or if he is trying to score political points. Marijuana sales totaled $6.7 billion in 2016 with sharp rises predicted in years to come. Tax revenues collected from marijuana sales will also go up. Is a White House significantly less popular than marijuana legalization willing to take away medicine, jobs, and tax revenues?

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