The Jeff Sessions Memo: What It Means, and What To Do

Yesterday morning, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement announcing his intent to rescind the 2013 “Cole Memo,” which had established Department of Justice guidelines that deprioritized prosecution against medical and recreational cannabis activities in states that had independently deemed cannabis legal.

Despite the intense discussion and speculation currently surrounding this development, what is most important to note is that Sessions’ statement does not dictate any change in existing federal law. Therefore, your safe access to medical cannabis through dispensaries and other legal outlets, and your patient information on file with the state, both remain safe. as Sessions’ statement does not supersede the DOJ’s lack of authorization to prosecute state-legal cannabis activities under the current federal budget.

What You Need To Do
In the absence of actual changes to federal law, there is little for patients to do in reaction to this news other than to continue to obey Arizona law as usual. Always be aware of legal possession limits, be certain you’re in a legal place to administer your medicine, keep your patient card handy whenever you’re carrying your medicine, and always stay off the road while under any kind of intoxication.

The Harvest Philosophy
Harvest opened its doors to patients before the Cole Memo was implemented, and has served patients with safety, compassion, and steady compliance with state law ever since. As such, we will continue to cultivate and dispense safe medicine with the same attention and devotion as always, and we have no intention of letting this week’s news deter us from our mission.

A Natural Progression of the Conversation
While the vagueness of Sessions’ statement provokes a sense of uncertainty among medical cannabis patients, we see significant opportunities to counter the negative rhetoric with empathy, education and advocacy.

We’re impressed by and proud of the progress patients have been able to make in managing and advancing your own health goals, and we know that many others out there will be too. We encourage you now more than ever to share your own stories about the difference medical cannabis has made in your lives, and to remain receptive to others’ experiences.

Additionally, we’re always looking for new research developments regarding cannabis’ safety, medical efficacy, and social effects, and we hope you’ll keep an eye open for articles that we share with you in the near future.

Most importantly, we hope you’ll turn your outspokenness into civic engagement and bring this conversation into the public sphere. Below, we’ll include a link to contact information for all of Arizona’s representatives in Congress, including Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, so that you can send your stories, concerns, and suggestions directly to your elected officials.

We encourage our patients and staff alike to participate in this important conversation, express opinions and share your experiences. Cannabis is medicine and we will continue to provide high-quality medicine and exceptional service to our patients.

Contact your members of Congress here!

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