Tom Wolf on medical marijuana: 'We do not need the federal government getting in the way' – PennLive.com
Gov. Tom Wolf’s message to Jeff Sessions is simple: Don’t meddle in Pennsylvania’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry.
“We do not need the federal government getting in the way,” Wolf wrote, in a letter to the U.S. attorney general, on Thursday.
Last month, the nation’s top law enforcement official asked congressional leaders to roll back a 2014 provision that prevents the federal government from prosecuting marijuana suppliers in states with legalized cannabis.
Sessions’ request became public earlier this week. It follows a number of public statements he’s made signaling a crackdown on marijuana, which is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, a category that includes other illicit drugs like heroin.
“The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives,” Sessions wrote.
Sessions’ letter was occasioned by the expiration of the so-called Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which has been attached to federal appropriations bills. It was ultimately renewed through the end of September as part of a spending bill signed by President Donald Trump.
If Congress reverses or fails to renew the amendment, it would put states like Pennsylvania in a difficult position. Despite having signed off on the medicinal use of marijuana, the businesses that supply those products could be at risk of federal prosecution.
A state Department of Health spokeswoman said the state is still on track to issue permits by the end of this month. Hundreds of applicants are vying for 12 grower/processor and 27 dispensary permits statewide.
“Given the bipartisan and medical consensus for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania and many other states, I am disturbed to know that you are actively pursuing a change in federal law to go after medical marijuana suppliers,” Wolf wrote, in the letter to Sessions.