Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, after meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week in Washington, says that he doesn’t believe a federal crackdown on legal marijuana is on the way, adding that Sessions called the Obama administration’s guidance on marijuana “not too far from good policy.”
“The meeting was very productive, and overall it was very good,” Jacque Montgomery, press secretary for the Democratic governor, told HuffPost. Montgomery said that Sessions spent about an hour with Hickenlooper, and they discussed the state’s successful marijuana regulation, its collection of data on usage, what the state has learned since the first legal pot shops opened in 2014, how the state has updated the law, and how it deals with the grey and black markets that continue.
Sessions also addressed the Obama-era marijuana guidance, known as the Cole memo, with the governor.
“Sessions said he is reviewing the Cole memo and said that ‘it is not too far from good policy,’” Montgomery said. “But we do expect some revisions, so we’ll wait to hear back on that.”
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sessions’ meeting with Hickenlooper.
The remarks related by Hickenlooper are the clearest yet from Sessions ― a vocal opponent of marijuana use ― that a federal crackdown isn’t imminent. Last month, Sessions said the Cole memo is “valid.”
Obama’s Justice Department allowed states to forge their own way on marijuana policy by issuing the Cole memo guidance in 2013. It outlines how states can avoid running afoul of federal enforcement priorities on marijuana. But this guidance is not law, and it could be reversed by the Trump administration.