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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

U.S. Attorney General Reminds States About Federal Marijuana Laws

U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reminding Oregon and other states with legalized recreational marijuana that federal marijuana law is still in effect.

Oregon relies heavily on a 2013 policy put in place by the Obama administration that has largely kept the federal government at arms' length in states with legal recreational marijuana.

But Sessions has been a longtime critic of easing laws on marijuana. Sessions sent a letter last month to Oregon and other states with legalized recreational marijuana reminding them that the so-called "Cole Memorandum" doesn't actually prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from enforcing federal marijuana laws.

Sessions is asking leaders in those states to provide more evidence of the steps they're taking to prevent marijuana from being smuggled out of the state to be sold illegally elsewhere.

A spokesman for Oregon Governor Kate Brown did not respond to a request for comment.