Compassionate Oregon Response to Cole Memo Decision by Sessions
We received this press release from Compassionate Oregon in response to the Sessions Memo that was released on January 4th, 2017. They are the one non-profit organization that’s primary purpose is to lobby for medical marijuana patients in Salem. They are donation funded completely, so please visit them and donate if you can!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinds the Cole Memo, Removes Protection from Federal Prosecution for States with Medical and/or Recreational Marijuana Programs.
Patients and business look to state for continued protection.
AG Sessions’ Decision Sends Shock Waves through Cannabis Community
The decision by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the Cole Memorandum issued under the Obama administration—which had previously provided guidelines for US attorneys pursuing criminal convictions for violations of federal controlled substance statutes relating to marijuana—while not a wholly unexpected policy change, has sent shock waves throughout cannabis communities as states scramble to respond.
The Cole memorandum is the policy that states looked to as they began to expand state cannabis laws beyond what the federal government allows. Today’s decision will give US Attorneys the leeway to pursue marijuana violations under federal marijuana statutes even in states with existing medical and/or recreational marijuana programs.
This policy change places marijuana patients, consumers, and businesses in the traumatic position of wondering—not unlike DACA registrants—when a knock on the door might come, when a business might be raided, whether a family will be disrupted and, in the end, worrying whether the medicine they use and depend on to mitigate a debilitating condition will continue to remain available.
We are pleased with the response from Governor Brown and Attorney General Rosenblum as well as Oregon’s Congressional delegation, along with efforts by state agencies to minimize any impact this change in federal policy may have and look forward to helping those efforts in any way we can.
Compassionate Oregon is dedicated to its advocacy for Oregon’s medical cannabis patients whether as a part of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program or as private Oregonians, and to this end we remain committed to doing all we can to minimize the effect of this policy change on those patients.
We are hopeful that the one remaining protection left for medical patients—the Rohrbach-Blumenauer amendment, which prohibits the Drug Enforcement Administration from allocating resources to pursue medical cannabis programs or their patients and providers—will remain in place.
We encourage everyone to support our Congressional delegation in keeping this protection in place and to remain steadfast in your support as our state elected officials and agencies formulate the appropriate responses to this change in federal policy.
Anthony Taylor, President