What Federal Changes Mean for Ohio's Medical Marijuana Program

Posted January 08, 2018

"Knowing Attorney General Sessions' deference to states' rights, I strongly encourage the DOJ to meet with Governor Sandoval and Attorney General Laxalt to discuss the implications of changes to federal marijuana enforcement policy". A US attorney in Colorado said he would not change his approach toward marijuana prosecutions, while a USA attorney in MA said he would pursue federal marijuana criminal cases.

"Going against the majority of Americans - including a majority of Republican voters - who want the federal government to stay out of the way is perhaps one of the stupidest decisions the Attorney General has made", Blumenauer said in a statement.

Robert Troyer, who was appointed an interim USA attorney for the District of Colorado by Sessions in November, said his office's decisions regarding marijuana cases would be guided by similar principles as before: "focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state". "These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community".

She said the Justice Department's new guidance "simply gives prosecutors the tools to take on large-scale distributors and enforce federal law".

But it's looking like US Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not agree.

The announcement reversed a President Barack Obama-era memo, written by then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, discouraging prosecutors from pursuing marijuana-related charges in states - including OR and Washington - where it has been legalized.

"At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state's laws and protect our state's interests".

Weed users in the USA are living in a pretty precarious situation.

The new memo likely "reduces the level of comfort in the industry until it sees how U.S. attorneys actually implement it", Cole added.

Some prosecutors in legalization states issued statements on how they would proceed. "That's not necessarily being destroyed, but it is being thrown into question".

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While the federal government doesn't have the resources to go after every business or cultivator, he noted, "It only takes a few prosecutions to destroy the legal industry in a given state".

Regardless of a state's marijuana legalization policy, under federal law, marijuana use has been and still is illegal.

The immediate reaction to Thursday's news from the marijuana industry and some members of Congress was alarm.

Oregon's congressional delegation and state political leaders were swift in their condemnation of Session's announcement, arguing the Trump administration is being hypocritical on a common Republican refrain of states' rights and threatening to disrupt a burgeoning industry.

Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus wishes to see legal marijuana continue to flourish. The president had seemingly supported marijuana on the campaign trail, saying he thought it should be left up to the states. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade.

"We use the money we get from marijuana sales to fund our school resource officer and to bring in a D.A.R.E officer to speak to the schools", North Bend City Administrator Terence O'Connor said.

Opened in 2013, Sweet Relief was Clatsop County's first medical marijuana dispensary and started selling to recreational customers with others in October 2015.

Another 21 states have medical marijuana laws on the books, including red states like Arkansas, which passed its ballot referendum in 2016, and Florida, which put its own measure over the top by a whopping 71 percent at the polls.

Acting Supreme Court Justice W. Brooks DeBow rejected the companies' contention that the law enabling medical marijuana production in the state meant to restrict the number of companies to five.