The Department of Justice’s marijuana subcommittee of the Crime Reduction and Public Safety Task Force was scheduled to issue recommendations to the Attorney General by July 27. However, according to the Justice Department these recommendations have been ongoing and will become available to the public as they are submitted. One item under potential review is the Cole Memorandum.
In March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions noted, “The Cole Memorandum set up some policies under President Obama’s Department of Justice about how cases should be selected in those states and what would be appropriate for federal prosecution, much of which I think is valid.” Since that time, he has not made any action towards repealing or changing the content of the memorandum.
In anticipation of any Task Force subcommittee recommendations regarding the Cole Memo, Americans for Safe Access has sent a memorandum to the Attorney General and President Trump, and the Marijuana Task Force with specific explanations as to how states have complied with each of the sections within the Cole memorandum.
“President Trump and the Department of Justice need to consider the ramifications before modifying or repealing the Cole memo,” stated Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, Steph Sherer. ”For the past three years, state sponsored medical cannabis programs have operated under the guidance of this memorandum, and state governments have painstakingly worked to keep their programs within these guidelines. States are working in conjunction with the DOJ, not in contradiction as it sets up a workable framework that balances the interests of medical cannabis patients and federal enforcement priorities. With 91 Americans a day dying from opioid overdose, and states with medical cannabis programs seeing a nearly 25% decrease in these deaths, it is more crucial than ever that the Federal Government not remove the guidance that is currently working.”
The memorandum is available here.