Inslee statement on Attorney General Sessions’ letter regarding Washington’s marijuana legalization efforts

Washington state has been a ground-breaking leader when it comes to implementing a whole new marketplace for recreational marijuana. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done to implement legalization in a way that keeps youth safe, minimizes diversion into the black market, and minimizes diversion of product out of state.

We are learning important lessons as we go and continually looking for ways to improve our work on all fronts. It is important for our state to know the Trump Administration is willing to work with us to ensure our success on these efforts, rather than undermining our efforts and diminishing our ability to work constructively with growers and distributors.

While Washington has been successful in creating a tightly regulated market place and generating needed revenue for the state, challenges do remain. Most importantly marijuana remains a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the federal government. This determination affects all aspects of our state systems, from banking to research to consumer safety.

It is clear that our goals regarding health and safety are in step with the goals Attorney General Sessions has articulated. Unfortunately he is referring to incomplete and unreliable data that does not provide the most accurate snapshot of our efforts since the marketplace opened in 2014. Our team is currently reviewing his letter, and we will have a more detailed response in the coming days. I look forward to speaking with Attorney General Sessions to make sure he fully understands everything our state is doing to accomplish our shared goals.

Background:

February 2017 letter from Gov. Inslee and state Attorney General Ferguson to AG Sessions

April 2017 letter from the governors of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska to AG Sessions

May 2017 letter from Gov. Inslee and state Attorney General Ferguson to AG Session

July 2017 letter from AG Sessions responding to Gov. Inslee and state Attorney General Ferguson

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