SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon's governor and the head of the state police defended the state's legal marijuana industry in letters to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been hinting at a crackdown on states like Oregon that have legalized pot in defiance of federal law.
Gov. Kate Brown noted that Sessions' earlier letter to her referenced a draft report from the Oregon State Police that concluded a lot of Oregon's marijuana was being diverted to other states. Brown and Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said that draft report was invalid and had incorrect data and conclusions.
Brown said new laws in Oregon, including tracking pot from seed to sale, would help cut down on diversion into the black market.
Gov. Brown news release:
Governor Kate Brown responds to AG Sessions' letter regarding legal marijuana
Reply details Oregon's efforts to maintain safe, secure market
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, explaining in detail the state policies in place that are aimed at the safety and security of Oregon's marijuana market.
"Oregon has been diligent in reaching out to our federal partners to build a collaborative and mutually beneficial understanding regarding our marijuana system," Governor Brown said. "I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a successful marijuana market while protecting the safety of our communities."
The policies cited in the letter include seed-to-sale tracking of both medical and recreational marijuana to prevent product diversion, increased criminal penalties for illegal extraction and "super possession," a testing regime that is more robust than other states with legalized marijuana, and security and outreach programs to prevent minors' access to marijuana.
The letter follows one sent by Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton on Aug. 16.
Both Governor Brown and Hampton demonstrated in detail how Oregon is working proactively to comply with the Cole Memorandum by protecting public health, protecting minors, preventing diversion, and suppressing organized and violent crime.
Superintendent Hampton's letter explained to Attorney General Sessions that OSP is working to develop definitive, objective data to draw conclusions regarding enforcement and societal trends after recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon. Hampton also notes that Oregon started testing for cannabinoids, in addition to alcohol, in every fatal crash investigation in May 2017.