When Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo last week, countless people across the country were (understandably) outraged. The Cole Memo, which helped to protect legal marijuana states from federal prosecution, kept the government out of cracking down on these states with federal law, gave medical and recreational states some security when choosing to allow legal marijuana.
Members of Colorado Congress recently sent a letter to Sessions, urging the Attorney General to reinstate the Cole Memo by reconsidering his decision. The letter, signed by four Colorado Representatives (3 Democrat, 1 Republican), “strongly” urged the Department of Justice to reestablish the Cole Memo, ensuring that they are “acting to uphold the will of Colorado voters and the rights of the states to regulate intrastate commerce.”
In their letter, the Colorado Representatives state that Sessions’ decision is at odds with President Trump’s policy about legalized marijuana. At a political rally in October 2015, Trump said he believed that legalized marijuana “should be a state issue, state-by-state.”
Representatives added to the letter that the regulation of marijuana should be a states’ rights concern.
“The president has previously identified marijuana use within a state as an issue for the state to decide, not the federal government. Reinstating the Cole Memo and related guidance will help ensure the federal government is not unduly interfering in state policy,” the letter reads.
They also mentioned that voters in the state had voted for the legalization of marijuana not once, but twice in the state of Colorado.
“Voters first approved the use of medical marijuana and subsequently, our constituents approved its use for adult recreational use,” they wrote. “The citizens of Colorado have spoken on this issue. We believe we are obliged to heed their decision. Further, all the laws and regulations put in place governing the use of marijuana in our state clearly restrict it to a matter internal to the state of Colorado.”
Colorado representatives are prepared to stand behind their people. State Senator Cory Gardner tweeted that “We discussed a path forward to respect the will of the people and defend states’ rights.”
The latest move by Sessions to keep marijuana criminalized isn’t being taken lightly, with the powers-that-be prepared to fight for the rights of the people and keep legal marijuana running smoothly for the states that stand behind it.