Oregon lawmakers worried about a nationwide crackdown on legal marijuana under President Donald Trump’s administration are rushing to protect the personal information of pot customers in case federal agents try to seize it.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is taking one of the first direct state actions in response to White House spokesman Sean Spicer last week suggesting a boost in enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week that the Justice Department is reviewing an Obama-era memo giving states flexibility in passing marijuana laws.
The committee that crafts Oregon’s pot policies has proposed legislation that requires marijuana businesses to destroy customers’ personal information, such as names, addresses and birth dates, gathered for marketing purposes, within 48 hours.
The measure is scheduled for its first hearing Tuesday. It must pass the full Legislature and be signed by the Democratic governor, who’s vowed to fight federal interference in Oregon’s pot market.
“I could see where the federal government would come in and try to gather this information from businesses that have stockpiled it and retained it in their records,” said Democratic state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, a bill sponsor who is also a prosecutor. “I think we as legislators have a duty to protect our citizens.”
Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Shops that sell the drug are open in four states and are required to check IDs to verify that customers are at least 21.
But many in Oregon go further, keeping an internal log of customers’ personal details to promote their product, including special deals and discounts on birthdays. Some dealers even log driver’s license numbers to track each marijuana product a person buys and on which dates, which helps customers buy an item again even if they forget its name.
Colorado and Alaska prohibit retaining