RON AND DON

McKenna: New weed policy could mean ‘more marijuana prosecutions’

Jan 5, 2018, 6:07 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
marijuana, weed...
(AP)
(AP)
LISTEN: McKenna: New federal policy could mean 'more marijuana prosecutions'

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy that allowed marijuana businesses to operate in states such as Washington. Of course, the drug is still illegal under federal law.

“[The federal government isn’t] doing anything at this point to crack down on marijuana in Washington or any other state where it’s been legalized,” former Attorney General Rob McKenna said on the Ron and Don Show. “What the attorney general announced today was simply that they’re revoking what are called the Cole Memoranda. A couple of memos that basically under the Obama administration directed U.S. attorneys that moved prosecution of marijuana offenses down the priority list.”

“By revoking the Cole Memos, they appear to be signaling to U.S. attorneys that they are free to bring a marijuana-related case if they want to,” McKenna added.

RELATED: Seattle pot shop owner responds to new federal weed policy

At a recent National Association of Attorneys General meeting, Jeff Sessions expressed his dismay for the drug.

“I, as you know, am dubious about marijuana … I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana being sold at every corner grocery store,” Sessions said.

Over two dozen states have now legalized the drug, at least for medicinal use. McKenna said that the Cole Memo when in place, didn’t necessarily ban weed-related prosecution in those states.

“Even in the Obama administration, there were factors that a U.S. attorney could use to bring a marijuana-related case in a state like Washington. For example, if the U.S. attorney concluded the state was not adequately regulating the drug, if there was evidence that marijuana was being shipped out of the state, prosecutions could be brought,” McKenna said. “It’s notable that those prosecutions never happened, at least as far as I know.”

It is still unknown exactly what consequences Sessions’ announcement will have on the weed industry. There are more than 745 active licensed producers and more than 300 retailers, KIRO 7 reports. The state expects to generate about $740 million from the industry through taxes and licenses over the next two years.

Pot sales in the state surpassed $1.3 billion in 2017.

“You could start to see more marijuana prosecutions in other parts of the country, but I don’t predict that will happen in Washington state. I also think it’s worth noting that there’s not much that Washington state officials can do about it if a U.S. attorney does decide to bring such a case because this is a matter of federal law and federal prosecution,” McKenna said. “The governor, the mayor of Seattle, and others can stand up and pound their chests all they want, but they don’t actually have the power to stop the federal government from pursuing prosecutions if they choose to do so.”

Ron and Don

...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
3 years ago
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)...
Rachel Belle

In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

If you think you can't afford a personal stylist, head to the thrift store with Sweet Kelly Anne Styling's Kelly Herzberg who will pull hundreds of pieces for you to try on.
3 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
3 years ago
(MyNorthwest)...
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
3 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
3 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
McKenna: New weed policy could mean ‘more marijuana prosecutions’