Officials in Washington state think U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has it all wrong when it comes to the state’s legal marijuana market.
Last week, Gov. Jay Inslee and State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats, fired off a letter saying Sessions recently made “a number of allegations that are outdated, incorrect, or based on incomplete information.”
On Wednesday, key lawmakers involved with setting the state’s marijuana policy — including two Republicans — followed up with their own letter.
They, too, said Sessions is off base.
“…We believe your comments reflect a misunderstanding of what has happened in Washington State since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012,” reads the letter signed by state Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma; state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center; state Rep. Cary Condotta, R-Wenatchee; and state Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent.
The letters from Inslee, Ferguson and the four lawmakers are in response to a July 24 letter from Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama. In the July letter, Sessions cited parts of a 2016 report by the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, an enforcement program run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“This report raises serious questions about the efficacy of marijuana ‘regulatory structures’ in your state,” Sessions wrote.
Inslee, Ferguson and the four lawmakers have asked to meet with Sessions to discuss the state’s weed market in more detail. As of Wednesday, the attorney general had yet to respond to either letter, state officials said.
Here are some of Sessions’ key assertions that Washington state officials are disputing and why.
That legal marijuana labs are exploding — literally
Inslee and Ferguson say Sessions’ July 24 letter “repeatedly fails to distinguish between marijuana activity that is legal and illegal under state law.”
“Instead, it conflates the two in