As we have discussed elsewhere, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been sending out intimidating letters to the Governors of cannabis-friendly states. In his letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Mr. Sessions focused significant attention on a recent draft report created by the Oregon State Police that raised concerns about Oregon’s success in complying with the Cole Memorandum guidelines. Fortunately, Governor Brown is having none of it. In her August 22, 2017 response, Governor Brown meets Mr. Sessions head on with a simple message: “It is important to understand that this draft report does not (and frankly does not purport to), reflect the ‘on the ground’ reality in Oregon in 2017. This document was originally meant to provide a baseline understanding of the state of things related to marijuana in Oregon prior to legalization. Of course, such a baseline provides little insight into the effectiveness of Oregon’s post-legalization regulatory measures aimed at Cole Memorandum compliance.”
Governor Brown then notes that the leaked draft report was not ready for primetime and “required significant additional work and revision, because the data was inaccurate and the heavily extrapolated conclusions were incorrect.” In particular Governor Brown notes that the draft report relies on “an assortment of random blog and newspaper articles that should hardly form the basis of informed policy discussion.” (you wound me Governor!) In other words, Mr. Sessions, your sourcing is bad and you should feel bad.
After thoroughly dismantling the Attorney General’s assumptions, Governor Brown outlines Oregon’s recent legislative efforts to ensure Oregon is at the forefront of common-sense cannabis regulation:
- Oregon has already implemented seed to sale tracking for all recreational cannabis, and on May 30, 2017 Oregon Senate Bill 1057 expanded the seed to sale tracking to the medical regime as well.
- On August 21, 2017 Oregon Senate Bill 302 expanded criminal penalties for cannabis crimes, and “makes it easier to prosecute the unlawful imports and export of marijuana products, a provision specifically aimed at stopping diversion of marijuana across Oregon’s borders.”
- Oregon already has the “most robust resting regime of any state to legalize marijuana.”
Governor Brown finishes her letter to Sessions by explaining that she is “confident that Oregon’s regulated marketplace, coupled with our enforcement work, will serve to ensure compliance with the Cole Memorandum” and by inviting further dialogue with the Attorney General and the Department of Justice.
Your move Mr. Sessions.