Governors Forging Ahead In Spite Of Sessions' Threats Of Punishment

No one seems to care that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions offed the cole memo. No one, that is, aside from Jeff Sessions and a small handful of zealots. Although the feds could still make some moves to annoy the sleeping giant, it’s looking more and more like the killing of the Cole Memo is having little effect on states’ plans to continue to implement and regulate their medical and recreational marijuana programs - putting them in violation of Federal marijuana laws.

Case in point: Governors across the nation recently convened in Washington to confer with administration officials and the president. According to a piece by Matt Laslo at Rolling Stone, the general consensus as it pertains Sessions is, “so far, it has not had an impact on their plans to forge ahead.”

What The Governors Have To Say

New Jersey Governor-elect, Phil Murphy (D) told Laslo, "It has not impacted us and we believe it will not, although that doesn't mean we're not paying attention. We're proceeding apace, again, beginning to make sure we get the medical piece right because it's life or death. And then we will deliberately and steadily get to the recreational side."

Ralph Northam (D), who recently took over as Governor of Virginia, also campaigned on a pro-marijuana platform. He's calling on Congress to remove cannabis from the list of Schedule I narcotics. Northam says, "I remind people all the time that probably over 100 medicines that we use routinely in health care come from plants, so let's be a little bit more open-minded and look at potential uses for medicinal marijuana."

The Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee (D), has offered Sessions an open invitation to come out west and tour his state's recreational marijuana industry.

Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo (D), has a proposal in front of her legislature to double or triple the number of dispensaries in the state.

In June, Oklahoma voters will vote on medicinal marijuana. Utah voters will also vote on expanding the state’s medical marijuana program.

And Connecticut Governor, Dan Malloy (D), says it's just a matter of time before Connecticut adopts recreational marijuana program.

“The attorney general has managed to finally bring Democrats and Republicans together on one issue: weed.” - Matt Laslo, Rolling Stone

The Sessions' Sessions

Sessions only made one appearance during the entire conference, at a White House briefing on opioids, where he took just six questions. "I tried, but I couldn't get called on," Said Colorado Governor. John Hickenlooper (D). “He only took about six questions. There were probably 40 governors in the room."

Illustration by DonkeyHotey

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