Mayors in 10 US states push back against Trump’s anti-cannabis crackdown
Mayors from Colorado and Washington – the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana back in 2012 – are the lead authors of a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to the crackdown announced last week.
Also named in the letter addressed to Sessions, who is coming after marijuana legalization by unleashing federal law enforcement, were mayors from New York, California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona and Indiana.
Last week Sessions rescinded Obama-era guidelines that allowed states to legalize cannabis without the interference of the federal government as long as the drug was not marketed to minors, trafficked by cartels, sold across state lines, or cultivated on federal land.
Under the new legislation, Sessions said federal prosecutors will be allowed “to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”
In the letter, the city mayors urged the president to focus on the opioid crisis, which they say is “at an all-time high throughout this country” instead of wasting “law enforcement resources and taxpayer money on prosecuting legal activity.”
“Reversing course now is a misguided legal overreach and an attack on cities where legal, safe, and highly regulated recreational sale and use occurs,” wrote the mayors.
The legalization of marijuana has been extremely beneficial for city economies. Washington is predicted to take in $730 million in combined revenue from sales in 2017 and 2018, according to Reuters. While Colorado has seen over $500 million in tax revenue since 2014.
California became the latest – and largest – state to legalize recreational marijuana on January 1. Vermont is set to become the first state to legalize the drug without a voter ballot.