January 04, 2018

Wyden Statement on Reports of AG Sessions Rescinding Cole Memo

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement after reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will rescind the Cole Memo, which prevents the federal government from interfering with state-legal marijuana businesses.

“Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states’ rights only when they believe the state is right,” Wyden said.

“Opening the door to go after legal marijuana businesses ignores the will of the majority of Americans and marks yet another socially unjust and economically backward scheme from this administration. Any budget deal Congress considers in the coming days must build on current law to prevent the federal government from intruding in state-legal, voter-supported decisions.”

As the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Wyden is working to ensure consumers are protected and state-legal marijuana businesses are treated fairly. In March, Wyden introduced the Path to Marijuana Reform, a package of three bills, including the bipartisan Small Business Tax Equity Act that prevents legal marijuana businesses from getting hit with an unfair tax bill. The package also includes measures to shrink the gap between federal and state marijuana policies and responsibly de-schedule, tax, and regulate marijuana.

In December, Wyden became the first U.S senator to cosponsor Sen. Cory Booker’s, D-N.J., Marijuana Justice Act, which would make marijuana legal at the federal level, and incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if those laws are shown to have a disproportionate effect on low-income individuals and/or people of color.