Photograph of Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. distorted by a "fish-eye" lens.

Douglas Simkin

Congressmembers Send Letter to Trump Asking for Cole Memo Reinstatement

Fifty-two members of Congress have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reinstate the Cole Memo.

“As a candidate, you stated: ‘I really believe we should leave [marijuana] up to the states’ and that ‘it’s got to be a state decision.’ We trust that you still hold this belief, and we request that you urge the Attorney General to reinstate the Cole Memorandum. This step would create a pathway to a more comprehensive marijuana policy that respects state interests and prerogatives. On behalf of the communities we represent, we hope you appreciate the critical nature of this issue and take immediate action.” – Congressional letter to Trump

The bi-partisan letter, dated Jan. 24, includes signatories from states that have legalized the medical and/or recreational use of cannabis and Washington D.C.

In his directive rescinding the memo, which barred the federal government from interfering in state-approved medical cannabis programs, Sessions said that U.S. prosecutors “should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions.”

In their letter to Trump, the members of Congress warn that Sessions’ guidance “will have a chilling effect across the country in states that have worked tirelessly to implement voter-approved laws, creating legal uncertainty.”

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