It is no secret that the recommendations of the DoJ's Task Force on Crime Reduction, due on Attorney General Sessions' desk by July 27th, were slated to address potential Federal responses to state-legal adult use cannabis markets. And it is no secret that AG Sessions would very much like to drag the 8 states with legal markets, and the 20% of the US population living in those states, back into the dark days of Prohibition. What IS a secret, apparently, are the recommendations themselves. But it is vital that the legal industry, and the state governments overseeing that industry, are prepared to defend those legal markets and those participating in them from any federal effort to subvert them. Yesterday, US Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon called on Sessions to make the recommendations public. Thank you, Senator, for standing up on this. Senator Wyden's press release below:
Wyden to AG Sessions: Release Task Force Recommendations on Marijuana, Violent Crime, Immigration Policies
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to release recommendations on marijuana, violent crime and immigration policies from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.
In a statement last week, Sessions said he is already making changes to Justice Department policies based on recommendations provided by the task force. In a letter to Sessions today, Wyden said Americans have a right to know the basis behind policy changes that affect their daily lives.
“It is concerning to see this administration failing, once again, to be transparent and straightforward with the American people about the motivations behind its policy shifts,” Wyden said.
“I write to you today to ask that the recommendations of the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety immediately be made public.”
An executive order issued February 9 directed Sessions to create a task force to examine ways “to reduce crime, including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime.”
In an April memo, Sessions said he had established task force subcommittees to make recommendations on “illegal immigration and violent crime, such as gun crime, drug trafficking, and gang violence,” as well as review “charging, sentencing, and marijuana” policies.
Wyden noted the wide-ranging implications the task force recommendations could have on legal marijuana consumers and businesses in states like Oregon, where voters have chosen to legalize marijuana. More than 20 percent of Americans live in states that permit adult use of marijuana, and almost 90 percent of states have some form of legal marijuana.
“The citizens of Oregon voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, and it is not the role of the Attorney General to unilaterally undermine the will of Oregon voters on the basis of uncorroborated claims and furtive recommendations made by a task force shielded from public input and scrutiny,” Wyden said.