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An Open Letter to Senator Cory Gardner

January 11, 2018

Dear Senator Gardner,


As a Colorado resident, author, and investor in the global cannabis industry, I am in agreement with you that something should be done to address the January 4th actions of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


Session’s actions terminated the executive orders of the Obama administration including the Cole Memorandum.  The Cole Memorandum allowed state-regulated marijuana businesses to exist, but failed to address the “elephant in the room”, the fact that marijuana is a Class I, illegal drug under the Controlled Substances act, in the same category as heroin.  


You tweeted, that the decision “has trampled on the will of the voters.” You also threatened to withhold confirmation hearing support for Justice Department nominees presumably until Attorney General Sessions reverses his action.


While I’m pleased that you are dismayed by Session’s actions, what you should do is clear. You were elected by the citizens of Colorado to the United States Senate to legislate. It’s time you and other members of Congress do your job and change the illegal status of marijuana once and for all.


Senator Gardner, I’m sure you’re aware that there is broad support for the legalization of marijuana. As stated in a recent article in the Denver Post,  “Polls also show a solid majority of Americans believe the drug should be legal.”  There is also support for legalization of marijuana from both sides of the aisle in Congress.


Senator Gardner, instead of complaining and threatening, It is time for you and other members of Congress to do the job you were elected to do, legislate!


The solution is simple. Take the lead and reach across the aisle. Pass a bill to exempt marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act in states that have a state-regulated marijuana program.


Senator Gardner, the failure of Congress to legislate puts at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state-licensed marijuana industry, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars of state and local taxes derived from what is now America’s fastest growing industry.


Jeffrey Friedland

Author, “Marijuana: The World’s Most Misunderstood Plant”



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