New Federalism Funds Responds to DOJ Statement on Marijuana

Screen Shot 2018 01 04 at 12.33.00 PM
Screen Shot 2018 01 04 at 12.33.00 PM

DENVER, CO (01/04/18) – “The state regulated and legal cannabis industry has created tens of thousands of jobs, more than a billion dollars in tax revenue, and has taken market share from foreign criminal enterprises. We have also seen statistically significant declines in opioid overdose deaths in the states that have decided to opt out of federal cannabis prohibition,” said Neal Levine, Chairman of the New Federalism Fund. “Going after the state legal and regulated cannabis industry would not only damage the economies and undermine public safety in the states that have opted out of federal cannabis prohibition, it would also export all of our legal cannabis jobs to Canada and other countries. That will not make America great again. It would be a tremendous mistake, and a violation of the core principles of Federalism, for the federal government to interfere with the states and shift all of those jobs and revenues back to drug cartels and other criminal actors.”

“The Cole Memo has always been a statement of prioritization,” Levine continued. “The memo itself states quite clearly that it ‘does not alter in any way the Department’s authority to enforce federal law, including federal laws related to marijuana, regardless of state law.’ Although Attorney General Session’s Justice Department has decided to rescind the Cole memo, it remains to be seen whether the actions of the Department will change in any significant way. Our hope is that the Administration will continue to follow the principles of Federalism and the sentiment of President Donald Trump, who said in 2016 that marijuana policy ‘should be up to the states, absolutely.’ Attorney General Sessions and the DOJ should allow the states to continue to be the laboratories of democracy and lead on the cannabis issue. And it is time for Congress to get off the policy sidelines and enact changes to the Controlled Substances Act so that states have the unfettered leeway to fully implement their marijuana regulatory efforts.”