U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has contacted the governors of Colorado and Washington state and, using parallel language, questioned the effectiveness of state regulations designed to comply with the 2013 Cole Memo.
In letters to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, Sessions referenced reports from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which compiled information in 2016 about general effects of cannabis legalization in both states, the Denver Post reported.
The attorney general suggested the first two recreational marijuana states haven’t done an adequate job of controlling cannabis production.
“This report raises serious questions about the efficacy of marijuana ‘regulatory structures’ in your state,” Sessions wrote separately to Hickenlooper and Inslee.
Sessions further asked for recommendations from both governors on how to address findings in the reports, including ongoing diversion to the black market, an increase in cannabis use by minors in both states and marijuana-related traffic deaths.
Sessions also noted in both letters, however, that the Department of Justice retains the authority to enforce federal law, a not-so-subtle reminder that he has the power to instigate a widespread crackdown on legal cannabis businesses.