Embattled United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has sent a letter to Washington state officials criticizing its legal cannabis system — with state Attorney General offering a sharp rebuke in response.
Sessions, in the letter addressed to Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, wrote that the state’s medical market is considered “grey” due to “lack of regulation and oversight.” He doubles down, saying that the “recreationally licensed’ marijuana market is also incompletely regulated.”
Sessions has been an ardent opponent to legal marijuana; in May, he asked Congress to oppose a bipartisan provision giving federal protection to medical marijuana state (That provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, was approved by the Senate Appropriations committee last month). Ferguson’s own letter disparages Sessions for citing erroneous data.
“I was disappointed by Attorney General Sessions’ letter,” wrote Ferguson, “which relies on incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date information on the status of Washington’s marijuana regulations. I'm also disappointed that he has yet to accept my repeated invitations to meet in person to discuss this critical issue face to face. If he does accept, I look forward to providing him with a more complete picture of the robust regulatory program that exists in our state.
“Any action from the Department of Justice short of allowing our well-regulated, voter-approved system to continue is unacceptable. I will continue to defend the will of Washington voters.”