Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
January 11, 2018
2018 CWAG Chair's Initiative
May 3-4, 2018
Scottsdale, Arizona
CWAG Chair, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, announces his 2018 CWAG Chair's Initiative, which will focus on cyber security, data privacy, and digital piracy. Please mark your calendars and prepare to engage in a dialogue on these important topics!

Building on CWAG's Cyber Security efforts in 2016 and 2017 at the Cyber Security and Technology Forums and the Cyber Security Working Group established in June 2017, General Brnovich's Initiative will feature an in-depth conversation to discuss financial technology and government and industry cooperation, vertical integration and platform development issues, encryption and data security issues facing public, private and law enforcement along with national and international privacy concerns.

To find complete details about hotel accommodations, suggested transportation and to register online, use the following link CWAG 2018 Chair's Initiative Registration Site. To register click on the "Register" link and enter your name, last name and email address, then select your registration type.

If you are an existing sponsor you may use the registration code that was provided to you to register for the Annual Meeting. If you need your code re-sent, please contact Event Coordinator and Meeting Manager Ale Stephens at astephens@cwagweb.org or 303.304.9206.
Did you miss the webinar on Combating Rising Drug Prices for Seniors from January 9 th ?

Listen to the archive of Kansas Attorney General and NAAG President Derek Schmidt and a group of knowledgeable panelists as they discuss the rising cost of prescription drugs, a concern for health care policymakers and consumers, seniors in particular. 
 
MARIJUANA
Justice Department Issues Memo on Marijuana Enforcement

The United States Department of Justice issued a memo on federal marijuana enforcement policy announcing a return to the rule of law and the rescission of previous guidance documents. Since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in 1970, Congress has generally prohibited the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana. (Read the Memo) . "It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Therefore, today's memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country." (Read more)
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s Statement on U.S. DOJ Rescinding Federal Marijuana Guidance

 “Last year in Oregon, we collected over $60 million in state taxes as a result of our now legal marijuana industry. At the Oregon Department of Justice we will continue to make sure Oregon’s marijuana industry thrives under our carefully considered state regulatory requirements. The United States Attorney General Jeff Session’s decision today to rescind the Cole Memo, which has provided helpful guidance over the past five years to Oregon and other states that have legalized marijuana, is yet another example of this administration’s overreach.” (Read more)
Statement from Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman on Potential Changes to Federal Policies Regarding Marijuana

“As Attorney General it is my responsibility to defend our state laws—and I will continue to do so. There is still a lot we don’t know about what enforcement priorities the Justice Department will implement. I expect, however, that the federal government will continue to focus their enforcement efforts and resources on combating the gray and black markets and diversion, and not target marijuana businesses who abide by our state’s laws. The State of Colorado has worked diligently to implement the will of our citizens and has built a comprehensive regulatory and enforcement system that prioritizes public safety and public health.” (Read more)
Attorney General Laxalt Issues Statement on Withdrawal of Cole Memorandum

“Although I opposed the Question 2 ballot initiative proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada, I also pledged to defend the measure were it approved by the voters. Since Questions 2’s enactment, my office has vigorously defended it against two related lawsuits that threatened to slow or even halt the implementation of the law, and has further assisted with the formulation and adoption of regulations to allow dispensaries to commence sales of recreational marijuana within just six months of the law’s enactment. My office has expeditiously facilitated the implementation of the law in the face of considerable uncertainty about the status of federal enforcement activity.” (Read more)
ELDER ABUSE
Attorney General Derek Schmidt Proposes Strengthening Elder Abuse Laws

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced plans to ask the Kansas Legislature to strengthen the state’s laws against elder abuse during the 2018 legislative session, which begins next week. The proposal would expand the definition of criminal mistreatment of an elder person to include infliction of physical injury, unreasonable confinement or unreasonable punishment. It would also include violations of the guardian or conservator laws. The current statute prohibits financial abuse but not physical abuse. “As the population of senior citizens in Kansas continues to increase, we need to update our laws,” Attorney General Schmidt said. “It is important that our prosecutors have tools available to them to successfully prosecute those who take advantage of or abuse Kansas seniors.” As of 2015, Kansas is home to about 397,000 people age 65 and older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A Wichita State University study projects that population to more than double over the next 50 years. (Read more)
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum Sues Monsanto for Damage to Oregon over PCBs

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for the harm that chemicals it manufactured have caused over decades to Oregon’s land, waters, fish and wildlife. The lawsuit seeks over $100 million for the damages and clean-up costs associated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). “Monsanto knew decades before PCBs were banned that they were toxic to the environment, but they failed to disclose highly pertinent information,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “And, now, Oregon is paying a big price as PCBs are being dredged up in river sediments and measured in the tissues of fish and wildlife throughout the state. PCBs are extremely hard to get rid of—and it will take significant time and resources to fully clean them up. It only makes sense that the manufacturer of these PCBs, Monsanto, help clean up this mess with dollars!” (Read more)
Utah Attorney General’s Office Files Amended Complaint in Gold King Lawsuit

The Utah Attorney General’s Office filed an amended complaint in the Gold King Mine blowout lawsuit. The amendment adds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States, and Weston Solutions, Inc., one of EPA’s contractors, as defendants. Triggered on August 5, 2015, by the EPA and its contractors, the uncontrolled blowout of the Gold King Mine dumped over three million gallons of acid wastes and toxic metals, depositing hazardous wastes along the Animas and San Juan Rivers. The plume reached Lake Powell in Utah just nine days later on August 14, 2015. “We will continue to work closely with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice to assess and monitor damages, devise a remediation plan or other remedies, and attempt to settle this case,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. “The amended complaint was necessary to preserve the legal rights of Utah and its citizens and should not be interpreted as a breakdown in settlement discussions. Those negotiations are on-going to work out a settlement unique to Utah and commensurate with the harm.” (Read more)
Attorney General Tom Miller Files Environmental Lawsuit against Sioux City Electronic Waste Recycler

Attorney General Tom Miller filed a lawsuit against the Sioux City owner of several defunct electronic waste recycling businesses, alleging that for years he and his companies collected waste disposal fees and then illegally stored or disposed of millions of pounds of electronic components, including hazardous waste. The electronic waste includes cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which are glass tubes used in older television and computer screens, in addition to other electronic components. CRTs contain lead, and other electronic components can contain mercury or polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), all of which are toxic. According to the lawsuit, the properties contain an estimated 17 million pounds of electronic waste, including more than 12 million pounds in Iowa and another 4.5 million pounds at two sites in Nebraska. (Read more)
PRIVACY
Attorney General Bob Ferguson Sues Motel 6 for Violating Privacy of Thousands of Washingtonians       

Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit against national hotel chain Motel 6 for voluntarily providing guest lists to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on a routine basis for at least two years. Each time Motel 6 released a guest list, it included the name and private information of every guest at the hotel. The Attorney General’s Office began to investigate Motel 6 locations in Washington after two Motel 6 locations in Arizona made national news for voluntarily providing guests’ personal information to ICE. Motel 6 admits that at least six of its Washington state locations shared personal information of its guests with ICE. This lead to significant consequences including the detention of at least six individuals. “After news reports in Arizona revealed Motel 6 staff was handing over guests’ private information, Motel 6 implied this was a local problem,” Attorney General Ferguson said. “We have found that is not true. Washingtonians have a right to privacy, and protection from discrimination. I will hold Motel 6 accountable and uncover the whole story of their disturbing conduct.” (Read more)
CONSUMER PROTECTION
Attorney General Brnovich Files Lawsuit Against Alleged “Toner Pirate”
Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an Arizona Consumer Fraud Lawsuit against INT Sourcing LLC, Premiere Office Supplies LLC, and their owner James R. Deremiah. The Defendants are accused of sending fake toner cartridge invoices to churches, schools, and businesses to trick businesses into paying the fake invoice as a routine business matter. Those involved in scams such as the one alleged are known in the copier and printer industry as “toner pirates.” The Consumer Fraud Lawsuit alleges that Defendants first contacted their victims by telephone, posing as a legitimate business to gain information about the victim’s personnel and equipment. Then, Defendants allegedly sent the business an invoice for toner cartridges that it did not order, utilizing the information obtained over the phone. (Read more)
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