New federal guidance raises questions for legal marijuana

Some SF Dispensaries Given Provisional Authority to Sell Pot

Some SF Dispensaries Given Provisional Authority to Sell Pot

However, if you care about cannabis legalization and the will of OR voters to be free of Jeff Sessions' morality police, it is imperative that we take action.

The memo stipulates that the federal government would not stand in the way of states that legalize marijuana, so long as officials acted to keep it from migrating to places where it remained outlawed, and out of the hands of criminal gangs and children.

In 2011, California's four US attorneys announced that they were going after the state's "widespread and illegal marijuana industry". He said the action would contradict what Sessions had told him before the attorney general was confirmed and that he was prepared "to take all steps necessary" to fight the step including holding up the confirmation of Justice Department nominees. Sessions officially announced that he is repealing the so called "Cole Memorandum" via Twitter.

But what's the likelihood that individual US attorneys from the 94 federal districts in the USA will actually make marijuana enforcement a priority? The Senator is now working on a bill to present to congress that will use congressional power to ensure the state's rights to have legal weed.

In light of Sessions' decision, Republican lawmakers have introduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, allowing each state to make its own decision regarding the legality of marijuana.

Marijuana in any form is a Schedule 1 drug.

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Industry figures are watching Congress for a sign of what future drug policy might look like.

U.S Attorney for the District of Oregon, Billy J. Williams, responded to the memo by saying that the Attorney General is asking that U.S Attorneys use the reasoned exercise of discretion when pursuing prosecutions related to marijuana crimes.

Several federal courts suggested as much when they blocked the Obama immigration policy known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which would have protected from deportation certain undocumented immigrants who are parents of USA citizens.

Sessions "wants to maintain a system that has led to tremendous injustice ... and that has wasted federal resources on a huge scale", said Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. That law signals Congress's support for the allowance of medical marijuana use, even if it falls short of actual authorization.

But the change will undoubtedly create some confusion and an uneven landscape, said John Walsh, the former US attorney for Colorado appointed by Obama who left the office in 2016. If Trump appoints a new federal attorney for Colorado things could change.

"Given the Department's well-established general principles, previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately", stated the memo.

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Minnesota's medical marijuana program, started in 2014, permits the use of cannabis oil and pills, but no smoked products, for a limited number of conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and autism. All of the efforts through the years by many people to end the war on drugs were destroyed by a single tweet.

In San Francisco, a city long known for embracing weed, sales of recreational marijuana began Saturday as planned.

The effect of the Obama policy was thus to reduce the illogic of state legalization being contradicted by federal prohibition. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. Additionally, the protection for medical marijuana disappears if the amendment is not renewed. If the local government in the area allows it then in certain cases a MMJ patient can have up to a total of 24 marijuana plants. But it doesn't necessarily need them. Most historians think this had a bad effect on rule-of-law values.

That's not absurd. It could be argued, along Sessions's lines, that the Obama approach of holding back from marijuana enforcement was a policy in search of a constitutional justification. Both of the sheriffs in El Paso and Teller Counties have made statements to the public that they will be aggressively cracking down on illegal marijuana grow operations. Outlawing drugs also provides incentives for drug dealers to increase the potency, and thus the danger, of drugs, as higher potency products take up less space and are thus easier to hide from law enforcement.

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