Washington AG ‘Deeply Disappointed’ By White House Comments On Marijuana

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he's ''deeply disappointed'' by comments made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer regarding legalized marijuana. OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Listen

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he’s “deeply disappointed” by comments President Trump’s spokesman made Thursday about legalized marijuana.

At a White House briefing, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he expects “greater enforcement” of marijuana laws by the Department of Justice.

“And I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by.”

Spicer was speaking about recreational marijuana, not medical.

Washington and Oregon are among a handful of states that have legalized recreational pot. And Ferguson said he “will use every tool at our disposal” to defend Washington’s voter-approved marijuana marketplace.

“I take statements from the White House very seriously when they have the potential to adversely impact the people of the state of Washington and that is how I interpret this,” he said.

Oregon’s attorney general has also said she will defend her state’s marijuana legalization law.

Last week, Ferguson and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting a meeting to discuss marijuana legalization.

In that letter, Inslee and Ferguson asked Sessions to keep in place the “Cole Memorandum.” That’s a policy issued under President Obama that said the Department of Justice would make marijuana enforcement a low priority in states where it was legalized as long as certain federal enforcement priorities were met. Those priorities include keeping legal marijuana out of the hands of children and from moving across state borders.

“A few years ago, the illegal trafficking of marijuana lined the pockets of criminals everywhere,” Inslee and Ferguson wrote. “Now, in our state, illegal trafficking activity is being displaced by a closely regulated marijuana industry that pays hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.”

The letter also argues that stepping up marijuana enforcement won’t help address the opioid epidemic.

Copyright 2017 NWNews. To see more, visit NWNews.

Related Stories:

Andrew Simmons, right, blows bubbles with his father Bo last spring. Andrew, who's profoundly autistic and mostly non-verbal, lives in a supported living home in Snohomish County operated by Aacres WA, a troubled state contractor. Bo Simmons says conditions in the home over the past year have deteriorated to the point of being dangerous for Andrew and his housemates.

‘The Situation Is Dangerous.’ Parents Sound Alarm Over Troubled In-Home Care Provider

Mysterious bruises. An unreported burn. Two vulnerable clients left alone overnight. These are just some of the complaints that families are leveling against Aacres WA — a troubled residential care provider that gets tens of millions of dollars a year from the state to care for people with developmental disabilities. Now state officials say they’re investigating. Continue Reading ‘The Situation Is Dangerous.’ Parents Sound Alarm Over Troubled In-Home Care Provider

Read More »
The Washington Supreme Court on Friday declared the state's redistricting commission had met its deadline and declined to exercise its authority to draft new legislative and congressional maps.

Washington Supreme Court Says Redistricting Commission Met Its Deadline, Declines To Redo Maps

In a surprise order Friday morning, the Washington Supreme Court declined to take on the job of drafting new congressional and legislative maps. Instead, the court declared that the state’s Redistricting Commission had finished its work on time last month. Continue Reading Washington Supreme Court Says Redistricting Commission Met Its Deadline, Declines To Redo Maps

Read More »