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

 A panel of Oregon lawmakers will consider changes to the voter-approved law that legalized marijuana in the state.
Austin Jenkins
/
Northwest News Network
A panel of Oregon lawmakers will consider changes to the voter-approved law that legalized marijuana in the state.

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.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.