Louisiana governor & doctors urge Trump to keep Cole Memo

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL) - United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said he will let the Cole Memo lapse when it expires January 19th.

The Cole Memo is an Obama era memo which reflected the Department of Justice's relatively passive policy under the Obama administration since August 2013 on enforcement of federal cannabis laws.

Louisiana began the process of legalizing medicinal marijuana in 2015. Two agricultural sites have been selected, applications are in for 10 pharmacy locations across the state, and doctors are already registering to dispense the marijuana which will not come in a smokable form.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards doesn't want that progress to stop for fear the federal government will interfere so he sent a letter to President Trump urging him to partner with states to make sure the Cole Memo language stays in place.

Dr. Jay Marion works at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center in Shreveport and is on the Louisiana Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. Marion said the board worked for weeks in Baton Rouge to set very specific guidelines for who could get access to medical marijuana and how records must be kept to make sure no one is abusing the treatment.

Marion said California's recent legalization of recreational marijuana could have encouraged Sessions to make this move. Marion said  "That's not the issue in Louisiana.  In Louisiana its medicinal marijuana and that's where I think the government needs to let the doctors decide what works for their patients."

The Cole Memo expires January 19th.


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