Marijuana Memo Raises Need for Lawyers' Involvement

Source Shutterstock

Source Shutterstock

Officials however wouldn't say whether federal prosecutors would target marijuana shops and legal growers, nor would they speculate on whether pot prosecutions would increase.

"This clarified an earlier statement in which the U.S. Attorney said, ".the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that govern all federal prosecution decisions. He's expected to meet with Jeff Sessions today.

Gardner, who voted for Sessions's confirmation in February 2017 and originally opposed cannabis legalization in Colorado in 2012, threatened the hold on DOJ nominees during an intense speech on the Senate floor on January 4. It should revise the 1970 law that defined marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value, and let states make their own policies. Looking ahead, who knows what the position of the next attorney general or administration will be.

On Tuesday, Baker said that any federal crackdown on the state's nascent commercial marijuana industry is a misguided use of taxpayer dollars.

Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and since then, five more states have passed recreational marijuana laws, including MA, where retail sales are set to roll out in July, according to the CBS/AP story.

"Voters in my state made a decision to be proactive and move forward to recognize that a prohibition isn't going to make marijuana go away - we need to regulate it to make it safer", Moulton said in a statement Wednesday.

Thomas said if the federal government does what Sessions has authorized and enforces the Controlled Substances Act, medical marijuana users would be in violation of the most stringent provision of federal drug laws.

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Sessions' memo rescinds a 2013 directive, written by then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, which instructed federal prosecutors to focus its marijuana enforcement efforts on eight priorities, including keeping marijuana out of the hands of minors and black market criminals and cartels.

That could include an idea championed by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado, ) which would be to de-fund any federal law enforcement action against recreational marijuana operations that comply with state laws and regulations. "President Trump has recognized medical marijuana as an appropriate exception to federal enforcement policy", Hutchinson said, "but he's not said the same thing about recreational use".

Other Colorado legislators are also pushing for an amendment to the spending bill that would prevent the Department of Justice from spending money to prosecute legal state marijuana use.

While senators and representatives from California, Washington, and other legal states have expressed outrage over Sessions' move, Colorado's Congressional delegation has combined words with actual deeds.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission is scheduled to approve five cultivation center applicants in February, as well as 32 dispensaries in April or May.

" 'One wonders if Trump was consulted - it is Jeff Sessions after all - because this would violate his campaign promise not to interfere with state marijuana laws'".

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