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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.

Oregon's Governor Pushes Back Against Possible Change To Federal Marijuana Policy

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is urging the Trump administration to view marijuana as an economic opportunity. Her comments came as Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinted Tuesday at a federal crackdown on recreational cannabis.

Sessions made his remarks to a gathering of state attorneys' general. He's the second Trump administration official to suggest the federal government will step up anti-pot efforts in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, including Oregon.

Brown just returned from Washington, D.C., at a separate meeting of the nation's governors. She said the Trump administration's possible crackdown is contrary to its goal of creating jobs.

"It's a great opportunity for us to grow a nascent industry that could create good-paying jobs around the state of Oregon and help grow our economy,” Brown said. “That's what we should be focused on."

Stronger enforcement of federal marijuana laws would be a shift from the Obama administration, which did not directly challenge state legalization laws.