U.S. Attorney General Sessions criticizes Washington state’s legal marijuana system

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent letter critiquing Washington’s legal pot system was disputed by state officials, who say Sessions is ill-informed and relying on outdated information.

Is U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about to crack down on legal marijuana?

A recent letter he sent to top Washington officials, critiquing the state’s legal pot system, “raises concerns significantly,” said state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

But before anyone rushes out to stock up on legal supplies, The Associated Press reports that a task force assembled by Sessions is recommending that the U.S. Department of Justice continue to study the Obama administration’s arms-length approach to legalization experiments that spread from Washington and Colorado in 2012 to eight states today.

Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday that shortcomings of Washington’s legal pot system cited by Sessions are inaccurate and out-of-date.

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“Honestly, it’s hard to take him seriously if he relies on such outdated information,” Ferguson said in an interview.

Ferguson pointed to the first bullet point in Sessions’ letter, raising “serious questions” about Washington’s legal system. Sessions refers to a lack of medical-marijuana regulations leading to a growth in the black market for pot.

But Sessions’ concerns come from an early 2016 law-enforcement report before the state merged a largely unregulated medical system with its strictly regulated recreational system, Ferguson said.

“Do your homework, get good information,” he said in panning Sessions’ letter and pledging to uphold the state’s pot law, which allows adults to possess small amounts.

Ammunition for a federal crackdown was not supplied by Sessions’ Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a group of prosecutors and federal law-enforcement officials.

The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana.

Obama’s approach was embodied in the so-called Cole Memo, named after U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who wrote it. The memo said the feds would not stop the state-regulated systems as long as they adhered to priorities such as keeping legal pot from minors and from being diverted illegally into other states.

Sessions, who has assailed marijuana as comparable to heroin and blamed it for spikes in violence, has been…

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