January 4, 2018
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Smith released the following statement in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision to rescind Obama Administration memos, establishing that as long as strict enforcement and regulatory systems and policies remained in place, it would defer action in states like Washington which have legalized adult recreational marijuana use.
“The actions taken by Attorney General Sessions to rescind existing protections for citizens complying with lawfully enacted state laws regarding marijuana use across the country represents a flagrant disregard for the will of the majority of Americans. This about-face leaves a vacuum of any substantive federal marijuana policy, and threatens to create a ‘wild west’ of haphazard prosecutions. This shift in policy is completely unacceptable, and is an affront to the 10th Amendment.
“We must demand that Washington state residents who abide by state laws are protected from blanket federal enforcement. It is essential that Congress now provide certainty on this issue. We must move swiftly to codify the ban on dollars being spent by federal law enforcement to prosecute individuals legally participating in marijuana use or business in accordance with respective state laws. We have a responsibility to strengthen guidance to U.S. Attorneys on prosecution of marijuana cases and enact clear guidelines to financial institutions on providing banking services to legal marijuana businesses.”