Gov. Walker asks US Attorney General for hands-off approach to marijuana industry

Gov. Walker asks US Attorney General for hands-off approach to marijuana industry

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has "serious questions" about Alaska's legal marijuana industry, but Gov. Bill Walker is standing by the results of a 2014 ballot measure that created the industry.

In letters obtained by HuffPost that are dated August 1 and August 14, Alaskan Gov. Bill Walker and Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth, both Independents, defend their state's marijuana law and the voters who approved legalization in the state.

How state-regulated marijuana should be treated by the federal government following the President's declaration that the opioid crisis constitutes a national emergency, and whether the federal government will support objective, independent research into the effects of marijuana law reform on opioid use and abuse.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and his Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth responded in a letter dated August 14 that the 2015 data cited by the attorney general could not "be fairly attributed" to the new marijuana regulatory system since legal sales in the state did not begin until 2016.

They also suggested Sessions read the 2017 version of the report and included a state report on legalized marijuana with their letter.

"M$3 arijuana regulation is an area where states should take the lead", the August 1 letter reads.

Alaska implored Sessions to maintain the status quo regarding the Cole Memo: "We ask that the DOJ maintain its existing marijuana policies because the State relied on those assurances in shaping our regulatory framework, and because existing policies appropriately focus federal efforts on federal interests".

The Cannabist has obtained copies of each of the attorney general's July 24 letters to those states.

"Your letter ... makes a number of allegations that are outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information", Inslee and Ferguson, both Democrats, wrote to Sessions.

The pair also called out Sessions for repeatedly failing to "distinguish between marijuana activity that is legal and illegal".

One such example was a statistic from the report that listed 17 explosions in marijuana extraction labs, they said.

Alaska is taking "meaningful" steps to curb illegal pot use, especially by those who are underage, Walker and state Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth wrote in the letter. To date, "no legal extraction lab has ever had an explosion", they said.

Whether the federal government will help protect public health by supporting agricultural research on the safety of pesticides used in marijuana cultivation.

"We encourage you to keep in mind why we are having this conversation", Inslee and Ferguson conclude. The people of Washington State chose by popular vote to try a different path. Sessions has sent similarly critical letters to Colorado and OR, which were among the first four states to legalize the drug for recreational purposes. By conflating the two, Sessions implied that state-legal marijuana was responsible for harms actually caused by illegal activity, they wrote.

There is widespread concern among marijuana legalization activists that the attorney general may be willing to ignore such evidence and resume strictly enforcing federal laws. Sessions cited a series of statistics from a 2016 report on drug trafficking in the Northwest. The Justice Department wouldn't disclose the task force's proposals.

The letter from Alaska officials also raised the issue of states rights, including state law enforcement.

While the legalization of marijuana was a heated issue for voters in Alaska, the state's political leaders have long supported the idea that the federal government shouldn't overstep its bounds with regard to state laws.



Related Posts

Would You Buy Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR) On These Analyst Ratings?
Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR ) belonging to the Energy sector has declined -0.83% and closed its last trading session at $25.01. It dived, as 57 investors sold CELG shares while 470 reduced holdings. 44 funds opened positions while 86 raised stakes.

SC asks two senior Gujarat cops to step down
Rahul Sharma, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, had questioned the Gujarat government for re-appointing the officers. Sharma had challenged the Gujarat high court's decision dismissing his plea against the re-induction of the two officers.

Union Pacific Corporation (UNP) Position Maintained by BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC
The railroad operator reported $1.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts' consensus estimates of $1.39 by $0.06. It is positive, as 55 investors sold UNP shares while 509 reduced holdings. 112 funds opened positions while 390 raised stakes.

Sydney Snubbed On World's Most Liveable List Due To Terror Threat
The research arm of the Economist has ranked Vancouver as the third most liveable city in the world for the seventh year in a row. In 2012, the average global stability score was 73.4 per cent, while 2017's score is 71.4 per cent.

Apple's Tim Cook Disagrees with Trump on Charlottesville
He noted: "We must not permit bigotry and hate in our country and must be unequivocal about it". These have been dark days, but I remain as optimistic as ever that the future is bright.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WMT) To Report Earnings
Inc. now owns 1,526 shares of the retailer's stock valued at $115,000 after buying an additional 1,252 shares in the last quarter. Also, insider David Chojnowski sold 5,142 shares of the company's stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th.

Shopping cart with human remains found in the Bronx
Police say two men collecting cans came across the remains on East 182nd Street in University Heights at around 9 p.m. Police found human remains in a shopping cart outside a Bronx bodega Wednesday night, police said.

NAMED AND SHAMED: Three Derbyshire businesses who underpaid staff
Nationally, home furnishing and electronics business Argos has been ordered to pay £1.4million to 12,176 workers . HG Marantos Ltd trading as Maranto's Pizza & Grill House, Sheffield S12, failed to pay £345.60 to 1 worker.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE:ICE) Shares Sold by Daiwa Securities Group Inc
ILLEGAL ACTIVITY WARNING: "Intercontinental Exchange Inc". (NYSE:BXS) was bought by Campbell James Elbert III on Thursday, May 18. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in shares of Intercontinental Exchange by 0.7% in the first quarter.

"Hay que ir a busca uno por uno los votos" — Salvai
"La elección hay que ponerla completa: de 135 municipios, 101 municipios votaron por Cambiemos ". Dijo que estas elecciones en las que no es candidata las vive como "jugando en otra posición".

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.