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Oregon Senators Respond to Marijuana Federal Policy Change

Democratic Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are responding to Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcement he will rescind current federal marijuana policy.

Posted: Jan. 4, 2018 10:19 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Democratic Oregon senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are responding to Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcement he will rescind current federal marijuana policy.
In statements obtained by NewsWatch 12, Wyden said,

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“Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states’ rights only when they believe the state is right. Opening the door to go after legal marijuana businesses ignores the will of the majority of Americans and marks yet another socially unjust and economically backward scheme from this administration. Any budget deal Congress considers in the coming days must build on current law to prevent the federal government from intruding in state-legal, voter-supported decisions.”

NewsWatch 12 reached out to Senator Jeff Merkley for a statement as well. His statement reads,

"This is a destructive decision and a huge step backwards. Whatever happened to Attorney General Sessions’ belief in states’ rights? This decision directly contradicts then-candidate Trump’s statement on cannabis policy that ‘it should be up to the states, absolutely.’

There is nothing to be gained from going back to an era when federal resources were wasted prosecuting nonviolent cannabis crimes. This decision will create massive uncertainty, hurt local businesses and tax revenue, and harm public safety by driving cannabis activity back into the more dangerous black market. The Justice Department should immediately reverse this misguided decision and honor Trump’s campaign commitment, and I will keep fighting to make this happen.”

NewsWatch 12 reached out to Republican Representative Greg Walden for a response. We have yet to receive a response.

The policy Sessions plans to rescind let legalized marijuana flourish without federal intervention across the country. The move will leave it to U.S. attorneys where pot is legal to decide whether to aggressively enforce federal marijuana law. To read more about it could affect legal pot sales, click here.

Oregon governor Kate Brown and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton also responded to Session's decision. To read their statements, click here.

To read the full memo from 2013 that outlined the separation between federal and state marijuana policies, click here.

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