Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on a letter-writing spree to legal marijuana state governors, accusing them of things that, well, never happened and are simply not true.
In a missive obtained by the Cannabist, Sessions scolds Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for not keeping a promise to prevent marijuana from spilling out of the state’s borders and for not keeping it out of the hands of children.
Neither accusation is based in fact, but then the White House apparently thinks nothing of spewing lies and disseminating its very own alternative facts.
Then, Sessions dashed off another letter to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in which he complained that not enough is being done to ensure laws are being followed. Sessions also whined that too many young people have access to marijuana and that pot from Washington State has been found in 43 states.
Governor Inslee and Attorney General Ferguson quickly released statements criticizing Sessions’ letter for having used faulty information to judge the impact of marijuana legalization in Washington State.
“It is clear that our goals regarding health and safety are in step with the goals Attorney General Sessions has articulated,” Inslee’s statement said. “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.”
Inslee and Ferguson issued a joint statement and pointed out two examples of Sessions’ misleading information:
Sessions’ Letter: “The medical market for (marijuana) is considered ‘grey’ due to the lack of regulation and oversight and furthermore, aspects of Washington’s regulatory structure for the ‘medical market’ have unintentionally led to the growth of the black market enterprises.”
Washington State Response: This information pre-dates Washington state’s 2015 Cannabis Patient Protection Act, bringing the medical marijuana market under the same robust regulatory system as recreational marijuana. Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board verified all unlicensed storefronts were closed July 1, 2016.
Sessions’ Letter: “In 2014 alone, 17 THC extraction labs exploded”
Washington State Response: In three years of legalization, no licensed extraction business has exploded. The incidents referred to in Sessions’ letter were black or gray market facilities, often using butane in an enclosed space rather than a lab.
AG Ferguson offered to meet with Sessions and fill him in on the steps Washington State is taking to enforce its marijuana laws.
But it seems Sessions prefers to remain a pen pal rather than meet in person.
“I’m also disappointed that he has yet to accept my repeated invitations to meet in person to discuss this critical issue face-to-face,” said Ferguson.
Oh yes, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown also got a letter, in which Sessions refers to “pervasive illicit cannabis cultivation” in her state.
Governor Brown hasn’t responded yet but has also requested a meeting with Sessions.