Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)
04/10/2018 09:00 AM JUDICIARY
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|SJR1|| SB127|| HB214|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 21-FEDS RESPECT STATE REG OF MARIJUANA 9:09:12 AM CHAIR COGHILL reconvened the meeting and announced the consideration of HJR 21. [SSHJR 21 is before the committee and this is the first hearing.] 9:10:15 AM REPRESENTATIVE DAVID GUTTENBERG, Alaska State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, sponsor, stated that HJR 21 addresses the conflict between federal statutes dealing with marijuana and the state's constitution. He advised that he would review each clause of the resolution similar to a sectional analysis. The first "WHEREAS" talks about the right of privacy under the Constitution of the State of Alaska. The second "WHEREAS" talks about the Alaska Supreme Court Ravin decision. The third "WHEREAS" talks about Ballot Measure No. 2 that passed on November 4, 2014. The fourth "WHEREAS" talks about the rescinded Cole memo, which was a pragmatic approach to deal with the conflict between federal law and states that have legalized the use of both recreational and medical marijuana. The fifth "WHEREAS" talks about the state regulations that respect and support the federal priorities listed in the Cole memo. The sixth "WHEREAS" talks about the American Medical Association urging the federal government to reevaluate listing marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance. The seventh WHEREAS" talks about the letter Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth sent to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding the federal government's marijuana enforcement policies. The eighth "WHEREAS" talks about asking the U.S. Congress to allow states that have legalized medical or recreational use of marijuana to address the conflict in the banking system. The ninth "WHEREAS" talks about the letter governors from Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon sent urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to engage with states that have legalized marijuana before embarking on changes to the federal regulatory and enforcement systems. The tenth "WHEREAS" talks about the letters Governor Walker sent to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the federal government to maintain policies that respect the state's regulatory authority regarding state-licensed marijuana businesses. The eleventh "WHEREAS" talks about the letter Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, along with 14 other senators, sent to the director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network expressing continuing support for guidance on the banking system. He opined that what to do with the cash from these businesses has become a major conflict and exposes the entire process to crime. The twelfth "WHEREAS" talks about H.R. 4779 that U.S. Representative Don Young is cosponsoring, which would prohibit the U.S. Justice Department from using federal funds to act against individuals or property involved in the cultivation, distribution, possession, dispensation, or use of cannabis as long as those activities are in compliance with state and local regulations. The final "WHEREAS" asks U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to use federal policy to undermine federal policies. The first resolve talks about the Alaska State Legislature urging the federal government to respect the authority of the State of Alaska to regulate marijuana. The second resolve talks about the Alaska State Legislature urging the federal government to reconsider listing marijuana as a federal schedule I controlled substance. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG explained that Assistant Attorney General Cole authored a memo that said the federal government will not come after states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana if they have set up a regulatory framework that prioritizes the federal marijuana enforcement objectives listed in the WHEREAS" at the top of page 2. Rescinding that memo returns things to a dysfunctional system, he said. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG summarized that HJR 21 urges the federal government to respect the state's authority to regulate marijuana and to reconsider listing marijuana as a schedule I controlled substance. 9:17:51 AM CHAIR COGHILL shared his view that the Cole memo scoffed at the law trying to give some comfort to the states whose laws were in tension with the federal government. He said he may disagree with the sponsor's approach, but the final analysis that the state is moving on and the federal government should move with it is totally appropriate. He thanked the sponsor and committed to work together on any changes. He held HJR 21 in committee for future consideration.