Bipartisan Assemblymembers Vow to Uphold Will of California Voters Following U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Actions on Cannabis

Friday, January 5, 2018

For Immediate Release:

Bipartisan Assemblymembers Vow to Uphold Will of California Voters Following U.S.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Actions on Cannabis

Sacramento - The authors of the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act have issued the following statement in response to the decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind the federal memos that provided guidance and protection to states that have legalized cannabis:

“More than 20 years ago, Californians decided that sick patients should be allowed to have access to medical cannabis. This includes children suffering with epilepsy, adults fighting cancer and patients dealing with chronic pain.

28 states, representing more than half of the country, either allow medical or adult-use cannabis.

This counterproductive action by Attorney General Sessions imposes the threat of federal prosecution on these people and takes us back 20 years to before the passage of Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act. It’s not only misguided policy, it’s inhumane and wrong.

As the bipartisan group of lawmakers who authored California’s Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, we understand the importance of creating policy that protects public safety, consumers, the environment and businesses.

Further, we are committed to defending the will of 57 percent of Californians who voted to legalize the adult-use of cannabis. Proposition 64 drew directly from our legislation that created a tightly regulated marketplace.

Our approach prioritizes public safety, protects children and puts an end to the unjust criminalization that’s been disproportionately directed at young people of color.

The approach taken by the U.S. Justice Department conveniently ignores states’ rights and would drive people out of the light and back into the dangerous shadows where public safety is imperiled.

The answer is not to go backward.

California will move forward. We intend to protect the will of the voters through appropriate and effective legislation.

To show we are responsibly regulating cannabis, California must now commit to developing a comprehensive plan for reducing illegal black market cannabis activity so we minimize excuses for federal intervention. 

We further call upon each of the four U.S. Attorneys in California to meet with us to discuss this action and their subsequent intentions. We encourage them to engage with us and with state leaders.  California has made great progress and we look forward to partnering with the U.S. Attorneys to enhance public safety in the interests of all Californians.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta
Assemblymember Ken Cooley
Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer
Assemblymember Tom Lackey
Assemblymember Jim Wood