Washington state officials meet with USDOJ to discuss marijuana policy

September 29, 2017

Story 

Officials from the offices of Gov. Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the Washington State Liquor & Cannabis Board and Department of Financial Institutions met today with federal officials at the U.S Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. regarding state and federal marijuana policy.

The meeting came after repeated requests by Inslee and Ferguson to meet with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and discuss Washington state's efforts to safely implement and regulate its voter-approved recreational marijuana market. Washington never received a response to that request, but did receive an invitation to today's meeting with DOJ staff.

State officials discussed numerous topics with emphasis on the state's efforts to eliminate the illicit black market and reduce youth access to marijuana, two issues Attorney General Sessions has expressed concerns about.

State officials also asked for a reaffirmation of USDOJ's enforcement priorities to not seek to disrupt the continued implementation of a safe legal marijuana system. They also reiterated their request for a personal meeting between Inslee, Ferguson and Sessions.

Inslee and Ferguson released this statement following the meeting:

"Our voters asked us to create a safe, tightly-regulated legal recreational marijuana system, and that's exactly what we're doing. We appreciate that our staff were given an opportunity to share our progress and the results of our efforts with USDOJ, and reiterate that we share the goal of keeping our children safe, tightly regulating this market and improving public safety. 

"We look forward to continued discussions about a mutually agreeable path forward."

Additional background:

August 2017 letter from Inslee and Ferguson to AG Sessions
July 2017 letter from AG Sessions responding to Inslee and Ferguson
May 2017 letter from Inslee and Ferguson to AG Sessions 
April 2017 letter from the governors of Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska to AG Sessions and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136

Brionna Aho
Attorney General's Office
360.753.2727