Governors Urge Trump Administration to Respect State Marijuana Laws

Apr 06, 2017


Governors of the first four states that legalize marijuana for adults sent a letter to Trump administration officials this week asking them to respect their states’ marijuana laws.

In the letter, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to adhere to Department of Justice’s 2013 Cole Memorandum and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance, which were distributed under the previous administration.

Some key excerpts are below, and you can read the full letter here.

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 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.

[W]e 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.

The Cole Memo and the related Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance provide the foundation for state regulatory systems and are vital to maintaining control over marijuana in our states. Overhauling the Cole Memo is sure to produce unintended and harmful consequences. Changes that hurt the regulated market would divert existing marijuana product into the black market and increase dangerous activity in both our states and our neighboring states.

The Cole Memo and FinCEN guidance strike a reasonable balance between allowing the states to enact reasonable regulations and the federal government’s interest in controlling some of the collateral consequences of legalization.


4 responses to “Governors Urge Trump Administration to Respect State Marijuana Laws”

  1. At 64 years in age I smoke marijuana daily for pain relief also insomnia useing marijuana does a great job. Smith

  2. At the age of 64 I use marijuana daily for pain control also for insomnia and have for the past 7 years. And marijuana does a great job for me.

  3. Life in pain is awful, sometimes it even not worth living!! The only people, who will win if marijuana is not legalized, are the pharmaceutical companies, and lobbyists. The truth is,
    WHOEVER WANTS TO BUY IT IN THE BLACK MARKET, WILL BUY IT, NO MATTER HOW!
    The people who are really needing it, might buy it, but is not legal, and there can be consequences!!! I HOPE, PEOPLE WHO WILL NEED TO MAKE A CHOICE THINK HARD, AND PROTECT THE PEOPLE WHO MOST NEED IT, THE PEOPLE IN PAIN!

  4. The lawmakers that want to end legalization of marijuana for medical purposes should educate themselves on the many benefits it has proven to help people with chronic illnesses.Many people who live in states that do not allow medical marijuana are loosing the pharmaceutical prescription drugs they depend on for example chronic pain due to the so called opioid epidemic.The suffering people are going to go through due to this one example is inhuman.We don’t even allow animals to suffer like that.The need to get involved,write your local and state lawmakers has never been more important than right now.

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