All Politics is Local

Cantwell to Senate Committee: respect local marijuana rules

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., joined the bipartisan likes of Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and fellow Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon to urge the Senate Committee on Appropriations  to respect state marijuana regulations as the committee finalizes FY 2018 appropriations.

“It is our hope that the fiscal year 2018 appropriations will alleviate the turbulence the Attorney General’s abrupt decision has caused and that the appropriations will help preserve the strong regulatory frameworks the states have created,” the letter reads. “Doing so will provide the opportunity to pursue federal legislation that both protects the legitimate federal interests at stake and respects the will of the states — both those that have liberalized their marijuana laws and those that have not.”

The 17 senators advised Chairman Thad Cochran that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind guidance including the Cole Memo in January has created “disruption, confusion, and uncertainty throughout the country.”

That decision was met with immediate criticism from Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray as well as 52 legislative colleagues.

The letter sent. Feb. 12 asks Cochran and Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy to work with them to craft “precise language that will preserve state laws regarding marijuana regulation until we can establish a longer-term framework.”

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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